Calreticulin in phagocytosis and cancer: opposite roles in immune response outcomes.

08:00 EDT 30th March 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Calreticulin in phagocytosis and cancer: opposite roles in immune response outcomes."

Calreticulin (CRT) is a pleiotropic and highly conserved molecule that is mainly localized in the endoplasmic reticulum. Recently, CRT has gained special interest for its functions outside the endoplasmic reticulum where it has immunomodulatory properties. CRT translocation to the cell membrane serves as an "eat me" signal and promotes efferocytosis of apoptotic cells and cancer cell removal with completely opposite outcomes. Efferocytosis results in a silenced immune response and homeostasis, while removal of dying cancer cells brought about by anthracycline treatment, ionizing-irradiation or photodynamic therapy results in immunogenic cell death with activation of the innate and adaptive immune responses. In addition, CRT impacts phagocyte activation and cytokine production. The effects of CRT on cytokine production depend on its conformation, species specificity, degree of oligomerization and/or glycosylation, as well as its cellular localization and the molecular partners involved. The controversial roles of CRT in cancer progression and the possible role of the CALR gene mutations in myeloproliferative neoplasms are also addressed. The release of CRT and its influence on the different cells involved during efferocytosis and immunogenic cell death points to additional roles of CRT besides merely acting as an "eat me" signal during apoptosis. Understanding the contribution of CRT in physiological and pathological processes could give us some insight into the potential of CRT as a therapeutic target.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Apoptosis : an international journal on programmed cell death
ISSN: 1573-675X


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A multifunctional protein that is found primarily within membrane-bound organelles. In the ENDOPLASMIC RETICULUM it binds to specific N-linked oligosaccharides found on newly-synthesized proteins and functions as a MOLECULAR CHAPERONE that may play a role in PROTEIN FOLDING or retention and degradation of misfolded proteins. In addition calreticulin is a major storage form for CALCIUM and functions as a calcium-signaling molecule that can regulate intracellular calcium HOMEOSTASIS.

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