Mutations in the laminin β2 gene (LAMB2) cause Pierson syndrome, a severe congenital nephrotic syndrome with ocular and neurologic defects. LAMB2 is a component of the laminin-521 (α5β2γ1) trimer, an important constituent of the glomerular basement membrane (GBM). The C321R-LAMB2 missense mutation leads to congenital nephrotic syndrome but only mild extrarenal symptoms; the mechanisms underlying the development of proteinuria with this mutation are unclear. We generated three transgenic mouse lines, in which rat C321R-LAMB2 replaced mouse LAMB2 in the GBM. During the first postnatal month, expression of C321R-LAMB2 attenuated the severe proteinuria exhibited by Lamb2-/- mice in a dose-dependent fashion; proteinuria eventually increased, however, leading to renal failure. The C321R mutation caused defective secretion of laminin-521 from podocytes to the GBM accompanied by podocyte endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, likely resulting from protein misfolding. Moreover, ER stress preceded the onset of significant proteinuria and was manifested by induction of the ER-initiated apoptotic signal C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP), ER distention, and podocyte injury. Treatment of cells expressing C321R-LAMB2 with the chemical chaperone taurodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA), which can facilitate protein folding and trafficking, greatly increased the secretion of the mutant LAMB2. Taken together, these results suggest that the mild variant of Pierson syndrome caused by the C321R-LAMB2 mutation may be a prototypical ER storage disease, which may benefit from treatment approaches that target the handling of misfolded proteins.