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Electrophoresis. 2000 Apr;21(6):1218-26.

Heat shock proteins in human cancer.

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University Department of Clinical Pathology, Desio Hospital, Desio-Milan, Italy.


The heat shock proteins (hsp) are ubiquitous molecules induced in cells exposed to sublethal heat shock, present in all living cells, and highly conserved during evolution. Their function is to protect cells from environmental stress damage by binding to partially denatured proteins, dissociating protein aggregates, to regulate the correct folding, and to cooperate in transporting newly synthesized polypeptides to the target organelles. The molecular chaperones are involved in numerous diseases, including cancer, revealing changes of expression. In this review, we mainly describe the relationship of hsp expression with human cancer, and discuss what is known about their post-translational modifications according to malignancies.

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