The role of the endoplasmic reticulum protein calreticulin in mediating TGF-β-stimulated extracellular matrix production in fibrotic disease

Academic Article


  • Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is a key factor contributing to fibrotic disease. Although ER stress is a short-term adaptive response, with chronic stimulation, it can activate pathways leading to fibrosis. ER stress can induce TGF-β signaling, a central driver of extracellular matrix production in fibrosis. This review will discuss the role of an ER protein, calreticulin (CRT), which has both chaperone and calcium regulatory functions, in fibrosis. CRT expression is upregulated in multiple different fibrotic diseases. The roles of CRT in regulation of fibronectin extracellular matrix assembly, extracellular matrix transcription, and collagen secretion and processing into the extracellular matrix will be discussed. Evidence for the importance of CRT in ER calcium release and NFAT activation downstream of TGF-β signaling will be presented. Finally, we will summarize evidence from animal models in which CRT expression is genetically reduced or experimentally downregulated in targeted tissues of adult animals and discuss how these models define a key role for CRT in fibrotic diseases.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Owusu BY; Zimmerman KA; Murphy-Ullrich JE
  • Start Page

  • 289
  • End Page

  • 299
  • Volume

  • 12
  • Issue

  • 1