Protein Misfolding and Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress in Chronic Lung Disease
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Chronic lung disease accounts for a significant global burden with respect to death, disability, and health-care costs. Due to the heterogeneous nature and limited treatment options for these diseases, it is imperative that the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the disease pathophysiology are further understood. The lung is a complex organ with a diverse cell population, and each cell type will likely have different roles in disease initiation, progression, and resolution. The effectiveness of a given therapeutic agent may depend on the net effect on each of these cell types. Over the past decade, it has been established that endoplasmic reticulum stress and the unfolded protein response are involved in the development of several chronic lung diseases. These conserved cellular pathways are important for maintaining cellular proteostasis, but their aberrant activation can result in pathology. This review discusses the current understanding of endoplasmic reticulum stress and the unfolded protein response at the cellular level in the development and progression of various chronic lung diseases. We highlight the need for increased understanding of the specific cellular contributions of unfolded protein response activation to these pathologies and suggest that the development of cell-specific targeted therapies is likely required to further decrease disease progression and to promote resolution of chronic lung disease.
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