Send to

Choose Destination
Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2009 Apr 28;61(4):310-8. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2009.02.003. Epub 2009 Feb 25.

Induction of heat shock proteins for protection against oxidative stress.

Author information

Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders, Institute of Neurology, University College London, Queen Square, London, UK.


Heat shock proteins (Hsps) have been studied for many years and there is now a large body of evidence that demonstrates the role of Hsp upregulation in tissue and cell protection in a wide variety of stress conditions. Oxidative stress is known to be involved in a number of pathological conditions, including neurodegeneration, cardiovascular disease and stroke, and even plays a role in natural aging. In this review we summarize the current understanding of the role of Hsps and the heat shock response (HSR) in these pathological conditions and discuss the therapeutic potential of an Hsp therapy for these disorders. However, although an Hsp based therapy appears to be a promising approach for the treatment of diseases that involve oxidative damage, there are some significant hurdles that must be overcome before this approach can be successful. For example, to be effective an Hsp based therapy will need to ensure that the upregulation of Hsps occurs in the right place (i.e. be cell specific), at the right time and to a level and specificity that ensures that all the important binding partners, namely the co-chaperones, are also present at the appropriate levels. It is therefore unlikely that strategies that involve genetic modifications that result in overexpression of specific Hsps will achieve such sophisticated and coordinated effects. Similarly, it is likely that some pharmaceutical inducers of Hsps may be too generic to achieve the desired specific effects on Hsp expression, or may simply fail to reach their target cells due to delivery problems. However, if these difficulties can be overcome, it is clear that an effective Hsp based therapy would be of great benefit to the wide range of depilating conditions in which oxidative stress plays a critical role.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center