Diabetes mellitus is a group of common metabolic disorders defined by hyperglycemia. One of the most important factors contributing to hyperglycemia is dysfunction and death of β cells. Increasing experimental, clinical, and genetic evidence indicates that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress plays an important role in β cell dysfunction and death during the progression of type 1 and type 2 diabetes as well as genetic forms of diabetes such as Wolfram syndrome. The mechanisms of ER stress-mediated β cell dysfunction and death are complex and not homogenous. Here we review the recent key findings on the role of ER stress and the unfolded protein response (UPR) in β cells and the mechanisms of ER stress-mediated β cell dysfunction and death. Complete understanding of these mechanisms will lead to novel therapeutic modalities for diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-215
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Cell Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2011


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