Protein kinase R (PKR)-like endoplasmic reticulum (ER) kinase (PERK) is one of the three major sensors in the unfolded protein response (UPR). The UPR is involved in the modulation of protein synthesis as an adaptive response. Prolonged PERK activity correlates with the development of diseases and the attenuation of disease severity. Thus, the current debate focuses on the role of the PERK signaling pathway either in accelerating or preventing diseases such as neurodegenerative diseases, myelin disorders, and tumor growth and cancer. In this review, we examine the current findings on the PERK signaling pathway and whether it is beneficial or detrimental for the above-mentioned disorders.
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