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Exp Gerontol. 2007 Apr;42(4):263-74. Epub 2006 Dec 22.

Three faces of mortalin: a housekeeper, guardian and killer.

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National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Tsukuba, Central 4, 1-1-1 Higashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305 8562, Japan.


Mortalin was first cloned as a mortality factor that existed in the cytoplasmic fractions of normal, but not in immortal, mouse fibroblasts. A decade of efforts have expanded its persona from a house keeper protein involved in mitochondrial import, energy generation and chaperoning of misfolded proteins, to a guardian of stress that has multiple binding partners and to a killer protein that contributes to carcinogenesis on one hand and to old age disorders on the other. Being proved to be an attractive target for cancer therapy, it also warrants attention from the perspectives of management of old age diseases and healthy aging.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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