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Journal of Diabetes Research
Volume 2013, Article ID 193461, 6 pages
Review Article

Endoplasmic Reticulum Is at the Crossroads of Autophagy, Inflammation, and Apoptosis Signaling Pathways and Participates in the Pathogenesis of Diabetes Mellitus

1Department of Pathophysiology, Norman Bethune College of Medicine, Jilin University, Changchun 130021, China
2Department of Pathology, Affiliated Hospital to Changchun University of Chinese Medicine, Changchun 130021, China
3Institute of Hypoxia Research, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Wenzhou Medical College, Wenzhou, Zhejiang 325035, China

Received 1 April 2013; Accepted 8 May 2013

Academic Editor: Jian Xiao

Copyright © 2013 Jing Su et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic metabolic disease, and its incidence is growing worldwide. The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a central component of cellular functions and is involved in protein folding and trafficking, lipid synthesis, and maintenance of calcium homeostasis. The ER is also a sensor of both intra- and extracellular stress and thus participates in monitoring and maintaining cellular homeostasis. Therefore, the ER is one site of interaction between environmental signals and a cell’s biological function. The ER is tightly linked to autophagy, inflammation, and apoptosis, and recent evidence suggests that these processes are related to the pathogenesis of DM and its complications. Thus, the ER has been considered an intersection integrating multiple stress responses and playing an important role in metabolism-related diseases including DM. Here, we review the relationship between the ER and autophagy, inflammation, and apoptosis in DM to better understand the molecular mechanisms of this disease.