Disturbances in proteostasis are observed in many neurodegenerative diseases. This leads to activation of protein quality control to restore proteostasis, with a key role for the removal of aberrant proteins by proteolysis. The unfolded protein response (UPR) is a protein quality control mechanism of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) that is activated in several neurodegenerative diseases. Recently we showed that the major proteolytic pathway during UPR activation is via the autophagy/lysosomal system. Here we investigate UPR induction if the other major proteolytic pathway of the ER -ER associated degradation (ERAD)-is inhibited. Surprisingly, impairment of ERAD results in decreased UPR activation and protects against ER stress toxicity. Autophagy induction is not affected under these conditions, however, a striking relocalization of the lysosomes is observed. Our data suggest that a protective UPR-modulating mechanism is activated if ERAD is inhibited, which involves lysosomes. Our data provide insight in the cross-talk between proteolytic pathways involved in ER proteostasis. This has implications for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease where disturbed ER proteostasis and proteolytic impairment are early phenomena in the pathology. © 2013 The Korean Society for Molecular and Cellular Biology and Springer Netherlands.