MicroRNAs in ER Stress: Divergent Roles in Cell Fate Decisions

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13 Scopus citations


MicroRNAs are small, noncoding RNAs which regulate protein expression post-transcriptionally. They respond to changes in a cell's environment and can promote cell death or cell survival depending on the context. Recent studies have linked microRNAs to the unfolded protein response pathway. This pathway is activated in the endoplasmic reticulum by conditions which interfere with the normal functions of the endoplasmic reticulum. The cell fate outcomes consequent to the activation of the unfolded protein response are binary, either cell survival or cell death. MicroRNAs can regulate multiple components of this pathway to tip the cell towards either fate. Inositol-requiring enzyme 1 alpha, a canonical unfolded protein response sensor and mediator, has inherent endoribonuclease activity. Interestingly, recently, it has been demonstrated that it can target microRNAs in addition to its previously known targets. This review highlights key papers in this rapidly emerging field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-122
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Pathobiology Reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014


  • Activating transcription factor 4
  • Activating transcription factor 6 alpha
  • Apoptosis
  • C/EBP homologous protein
  • Inositol-requiring enzyme 1 alpha
  • Protein kinase-like ER kinase
  • Unfolded protein response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research


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