ER Protein Quality Control and the Unfolded Protein Response in the Heart.


Cardiac myocytes are the cells responsible for the robust ability of the heart to pump blood throughout the circulatory system. Cardiac myocytes grow in response to a variety of physiological and pathological conditions; this growth challenges endoplasmic reticulum-protein quality control (ER-PQC), a major feature of which includes the unfolded protein response (UPR). ER-PQC and the UPR in cardiac myocytes growing under physiological conditions, including normal development, exercise, and pregnancy, are sufficient to support hypertrophic growth of each cardiac myocyte. However, the ER-PQC and UPR are insufficient to respond to the challenge of cardiac myocyte growth under pathological conditions, including myocardial infarction and heart failure. In part, this insufficiency is due to a continual decline in the expression levels of important adaptive UPR components as a function of age and during myocardial pathology. This chapter will discuss the physiological and pathological conditions unique to the heart that involves ER-PQC, and whether the UPR is adaptive or maladaptive under these circumstances.

Current topics in microbiology and immunology