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In addition to serving as the entry point for newly translatedpolypeptides making their way through the secretory pathway,the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) also synthesizes many lipid componentsof the entire endomembrane system. A report published in thisissue implicates a signaling pathway known to respond to ERunfolded protein load in the control of phospholipid biosynthesisby the organelle (Sriburi et al., 2004). The reasonable notionthat demand for ER membrane is integrated with protein processingcapacity was initially suggested by genetic analysis of yeast.The new data lend direct support for this idea and imply interestingmechanistic possibilities for how this coupling develops.
Abbreviations used in this paper: UPR, unfolded protein response;XBP1, X-box binding protein 1.
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