University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications


Cell Signaling and Stress Responses

UMMS Affiliation

Program in Molecular Medicine; UMass Metabolic Network

Publication Date


Document Type



Cell Biology | Cellular and Molecular Physiology | Molecular Biology


Stress-signaling pathways are evolutionarily conserved and play an important role in the maintenance of homeostasis. These pathways are also critical for adaptation to new cellular environments. The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) unfolded protein response (UPR) is activated by biosynthetic stress and leads to a compensatory increase in ER function. The JNK and p38 MAPK signaling pathways control adaptive responses to intracellular and extracellular stresses, including environmental changes such as UV light, heat, and hyperosmotic conditions, and exposure to inflammatory cytokines. Metabolic stress caused by a high-fat diet represents an example of a stimulus that coordinately activates both the UPR and JNK/p38 signaling pathways. Chronic activation of these stress-response pathways ultimately causes metabolic changes associated with obesity and altered insulin sensitivity. Stress-signaling pathways, therefore, represent potential targets for therapeutic intervention in the metabolic stress response and other disease processes.

DOI of Published Version



Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2016 Oct 3;8(10). pii: a006072. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a006072. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology

PubMed ID