The Role of the Hypoxia-Related Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) in the Tumor Microenvironment

Academic Article


  • Despite our understanding of the unfolded protein response (UPR) pathways, the crosstalk between the UPR and the complex signaling networks that different cancers utilize for cell survival remains to be, in most cases, a difficult research barrier. A major problem is the constant variability of different cancer types and the different stages of cancer as well as the complexity of the tumor microenvironments (TME). This complexity often leads to apparently contradictory results. Furthermore, the majority of the studies that have been conducted have utilized two-dimensional in vitro cultures of cancer cells that were exposed to continuous hypoxia, and this approach may not mimic the dynamic and cyclic conditions that are found in solid tumors. Here, we discuss the role of intermittent hypoxia, one of inducers of the UPR in the cellular component of TME, and the way in which intermittent hypoxia induces high levels of reactive oxygen species, the activation of the UPR, and the way in which cancer cells modulate the UPR to aid in their survival. Although the past decade has resulted in defining the complex, novel non-coding RNA-based regulatory networks that modulate the means by which hypoxia influences the UPR, we are now just to beginning to understand some of the connections between hypoxia, the UPR, and the TME.
  • Published In

  • Cancers  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 28673449
  • Author List

  • Bartoszewska S; Collawn JF; Bartoszewski R
  • Volume

  • 14
  • Issue

  • 19