ERdj5 sensitizes neuroblastoma cells to endoplasmic reticulum stress-induced apoptosis

Christophoros G. Thomas, Giannis Spyrou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Down-regulation of the unfolded protein response (UPR) can be therapeutically valuable in cancer treatment, and endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-resident chaperone proteins may thus be targets for developing novel chemotherapeutic strategies. ERdj5 is a novel ER chaperone that regulates the ER-associated degradation of misfolded proteins through its associations with EDEM and the ER stress sensor BiP. To investigate whether ERdj5 can regulate ER stress signaling pathways, we exposed neuroblastoma cells overexpressing ERdj5 to ER stress inducers. ERdj5 promoted apoptosis in tunicamycin, thapsigargin, and bortezomib-treated cells. To provide further evidence that ERdj5 induces ER stress-regulated apoptosis, we targeted Bcl-2 to ER of ERdj5-overexpressing cells. Targeting the Bcl-2 to ER prevented the apoptosis induced by ER stress inducers but not by non-ER stress apoptotic stimuli, suggesting induction of ER stress-regulated apoptosis by ERdj5. ERdj5 enhanced apoptosis by abolishing the ER stress-induced phosphorylation of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2α (eIF2α) and the subsequent translational repression. ERdj5 was found to inhibit the eIF2α phosphorylation under ER stress through inactivating the pancreatic endoplasmic reticulum kinase. The compromised integrated stress response observed in ERdj5-overexpressing ER-stressed cells due to repressed eIF2α phosphorylation correlated with impaired neuroblastoma cell resistance under ER stress. These results demonstrate that ERdj5 decreases neuroblastoma cell survival by down-regulating the UPR, raising the possibility that this protein could be a target for anti-tumor approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6282-6290
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number10
StatePublished - Mar 6 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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