Intracellular antibodies (intrabodies) constitute a potent tool to neutralize the function of target proteins inside specific cell compartments (cytosol, nucleus, mitochondria and ER). The intrabody technology is an attractive alternative to the generation of gene-targeted knockout animals and complements or replaces knockdown techniques such as antisense-RNA, RNAi and RNA aptamers. This article focuses on intrabodies targeted to the ER. Intracellular anti-bodies expressed and retained inside the ER (ER intrabodies) are shown to be highly efficient in blocking the translocation of secreted and cell surface molecules from the ER to the cell surface. The advantage of ER intrabodies over cytoplasmic intrabodies is that they are correctly folded and easier to select. A particular advantage of the intrabody technology over existing ones is the possibility of inhibiting selectively post-translational modifications of proteins. The main applications of ER intrabodies so far have been (i) inactivation of oncogenic receptors and (ii) functional inhibition of virus envelope proteins and virus-receptor molecules on the surface of host cells. In cancer research, the number of in vivo mouse models for evaluation of the therapeutic potential of intrabodies is increasing. In the future, endosomal localized receptors involved in bacterial and viral infections, intracellular oncogenic receptors and enzymes involved in glycosylation of tumour antigens might be new targets for ER intrabodies.