Pulmonary endoplasmic reticulum stress-scars, smoke, and suffocation.

17 May 2018

Protein misfolding within the endoplasmic reticulum (ER stress) can be a cause or consequence of pulmonary disease. Mutation of proteins restricted to the alveolar type II pneumocyte can lead to inherited forms of pulmonary fibrosis, but even sporadic cases of pulmonary fibrosis appear to be strongly associated with activation of the unfolded protein response and/or the integrated stress response. Inhalation of smoke can impair protein folding and may be an important cause of pulmonary ER stress. Similarly, tissue hypoxia can lead to impaired protein homeostasis (proteostasis). But the mechanisms linking smoke and hypoxia to ER stress are only partially understood. In this review, we will examine the role of ER stress in the pathogenesis of lung disease by focusing on fibrosis, smoke, and hypoxia.