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Drug Discov Today. 2006 Jun;11(11-12):534-40.

Heat shock proteins as vaccine adjuvants in infections and cancer.

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Department of Medicine, Immunology, Cellular Stress Biology, and Urologic Oncology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY 14263, USA.


In addition to maintaining cell homeostasis under physiological and stress conditions, some heat shock proteins (HSPs) are potent inducers of immunity and have been harnessed as vaccine adjuvants targeted to cancers and infections. HSPs are a group of ubiquitous intracellular molecules that function as molecular chaperones in numerous processes, such as protein folding and transport, and are induced under stress conditions, such as fever and radiation. Certain HSPs are potent inducers of innate and antigen-specific immunity. They activate dendritic cells partly through toll-like receptors, activate natural killer cells, increase presentation of antigens to effector cells and augment T-cell and humoral immune responses against their associated antigens. Their roles in priming multiple host defense pathways are being exploited in vaccine development for cancer and infectious diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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