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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(9), 1558;

ER Stress-Mediated Signaling: Action Potential and Ca2+ as Key Players

College of Pharmacy, Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju 52828, Gyeongnam, Korea
Department of Electronics Engineering, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 54896, Jeonbuk, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Anthony Lemarié
Received: 7 July 2016 / Revised: 6 September 2016 / Accepted: 9 September 2016 / Published: 15 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Collection Programmed Cell Death and Apoptosis)
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The proper functioning of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is crucial for multiple cellular activities and survival. Disturbances in the normal ER functions lead to the accumulation and aggregation of unfolded proteins, which initiates an adaptive response, the unfolded protein response (UPR), in order to regain normal ER functions. Failure to activate the adaptive response initiates the process of programmed cell death or apoptosis. Apoptosis plays an important role in cell elimination, which is essential for embryogenesis, development, and tissue homeostasis. Impaired apoptosis can lead to the development of various pathological conditions, such as neurodegenerative and autoimmune diseases, cancer, or acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Calcium (Ca2+) is one of the key regulators of cell survival and it can induce ER stress-mediated apoptosis in response to various conditions. Ca2+ regulates cell death both at the early and late stages of apoptosis. Severe Ca2+ dysregulation can promote cell death through apoptosis. Action potential, an electrical signal transmitted along the neurons and muscle fibers, is important for conveying information to, from, and within the brain. Upon the initiation of the action potential, increased levels of cytosolic Ca2+ (depolarization) lead to the activation of the ER stress response involved in the initiation of apoptosis. In this review, we discuss the involvement of Ca2+ and action potential in ER stress-mediated apoptosis. View Full-Text
Keywords: endoplasmic reticulum stress; unfolded protein response; calcium; apoptosis; action potential endoplasmic reticulum stress; unfolded protein response; calcium; apoptosis; action potential

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Bahar, E.; Kim, H.; Yoon, H. ER Stress-Mediated Signaling: Action Potential and Ca2+ as Key Players. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 1558.

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