Endoplasmic reticulum stress as target for treatment of hearing loss
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) plays pivotal roles in coordinating protein biosynthesis and processing. Under ER stress, when excessive misfolded or unfolded proteins are accumulated in the ER, the unfolded protein response (UPR) is activated. The UPR blocks global protein synthesis while activates chaperone expression, eventually leading to the alleviation of ER stress. However, prolonged UPR induces cell death. ER stress has been associated with various types of diseases. Recently, increasing evidences suggest that ER stress and UPR are also involved in hearing loss. In the present review, we will discuss the role of ER stress in hereditary hearing loss as well as acquired hearing loss. Moreover, we will discuss the emerging ER stress-based treatment of hearing loss. Further investigations are warranted to understand the mechanisms in detail how ER stress contributes to hearing loss, which will help us develop better ER stress-related treatments.
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