Endoplasmic reticulum: A metabolic compartment

Miklós Csala, Gábor Bánhegyi, Angelo Benedetti

Research output: Contribution to journalShort survey

77 Citations (Scopus)


Several biochemical reactions and processes of cell biology are compartmentalized in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). The view that the ER membrane is basically a scaffold for ER proteins, which is permeable to small molecules, is inconsistent with recent findings. The luminal micro-environment is characteristically different from the cytosol; its protein and glutathione thiols are remarkably more oxidized, and it contains a separate pyridine nucleotide pool. The substrate specificity and activity of certain luminal enzymes are dependent on selective transport of possible substrates and co-factors from the cytosol. Abundant biochemical, pharmacological, clinical and genetic data indicate that the barrier function of the lipid bilayer and specific transport activities in the membrane make the ER a separate metabolic compartment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2160-2165
Number of pages6
JournalFEBS letters
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Apr 17 2006



  • Barrier
  • Compartment
  • Endoplasmic reticulum
  • Latency
  • Lumen
  • Membrane
  • Permeability
  • Specificity
  • Transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology

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