J Hematol Oncol 2015 Jul 16;8:87. Epub 2015 Jul 16.
Apoptosis Research Centre (ARC), National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland.
The unfolded protein response (UPR), an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-induced signaling cascade, is mediated by three major stress sensors IRE-1α, PERK, and ATF6α. Studies described the UPR as a critical network in selection, adaptation, and survival of cancer cells. While previous reviews focused mainly on solid cancer cells, in this review, we summarize the recent findings focusing on acute leukemias. We take into account the impact of the underlying genetic alterations of acute leukemia cells, the leukemia stem cell pool, and provide an outline on the current genetic, clinical, and therapeutic findings. Furthermore, we shed light on the important oncogene-specific regulation of individual UPR signaling branches and the therapeutic relevance of this information to answer the question if the UPR could be an attractive novel target in acute leukemias.