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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2007 Mar;64(6):742-51.

Heat shock protein 60: regulatory role on innate immune cells.

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German Diabetes Clinic, German Diabetes Center, Leibniz Institute at the Heinrich-Heine-University of Düsseldorf, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany.


Human heat shock protein 60 (Hsp60) exhibits immunoregulatory properties, primarily by inducing pro-inflammatory responses in innate immune cells. Extensive analyses identified specific receptor structures for the interaction of Hsp60 with these cells. The existence of distinct receptor structures responsible for Hsp60 binding and for Hsp60-induced release of pro-inflammatory mediators has been demonstrated, implying that the interaction of Hsp60 with innate immune cells is a multifaceted process. Distinct Hsp60 epitopes responsible for binding to innate immune cells and for the activation of these cells have been identified. Depending on the cell-type, the amino acid (aa) region 481-500 or the regions aa241-260, aa391-410 and aa461-480 are involved in Hsp60-binding to innate immune cells. An entirely different Hsp60-region, aa354-365 was found to bind lipopolysaccharide, thereby mediating the pro-inflammatory effects of Hsp60. Because of its immunoregulatory properties, Hsp60 has been proposed to act as intercellular danger signal, controlling innate and adaptive immune reactions.

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