Endoplasmic reticulum stress signaling and the pathogenesis of hepatocarcinoma

Juncheng Wei*, Deyu Fang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), also known as hepatoma, is a primary malignancy of the liver and the third leading cause of cancer mortality globally. Although much attention has fo-cused on HCC, its pathogenesis remains largely obscure. The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a cellular organelle important for regulating protein synthesis, folding, modification and trafficking, and lipid metabolism. ER stress occurs when ER homeostasis is disturbed by numerous environmental, physiological, and pathological challenges. In response to ER stress due to misfolded/unfolded protein accumulation, unfolded protein response (UPR) is activated to maintain ER function for cell survival or, in cases of excessively severe ER stress, initiation of apoptosis. The liver is especially susceptible to ER stress given its protein synthesis and detoxification functions. Experimental data suggest that ER stress and unfolded protein response are involved in HCC development, aggres-siveness and response to treatment. Herein, we highlight recent findings and provide an overview of the evidence linking ER stress to the pathogenesis of HCC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1799
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2 2021


  • Endoplasmic reticulum stress
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Unfolded protein response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Catalysis
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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