Modulation of ERQC and ERAD: a broad-spectrum spanner in the works of cancer cells?
journal contributionposted on 27.08.2019, 16:19 by Gábor Tax, Andrea Lia, Angelo Santino, Pietro Roversi
Endoplasmic reticulum glycoprotein folding quality control (ERQC) and ER associated degradation (ERAD) preside over cellular glycoprotein secretion and maintain steady glycoproteostasis. When cells turn malignant, cancer cell plasticity is affected and supported either by point mutations, preferential isoform selection, altered expression levels, or shifts to conformational equilibria of a secreted glycoprotein. Such changes are crucial in mediating altered extracellular signalling, metabolic behavior and adhesion properties of cancer cells. It is therefore conceivable that interference with ERQC and/or ERAD can be used to selectively damage cancers. Indeed, inhibitors of the late stages of ERAD are already in the clinic against cancers such as multiple myeloma. Here we review recent advances in our understanding of the complex relationship between glycoproteostasis and cancer biology, and discuss the potential of ERQC and ERAD modulators for the selective targeting of cancer cell plasticity.