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J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2011 Oct;51(4):574-7. doi: 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2010.09.013. Epub 2010 Sep 30.

Small heat shock protein 20 (HspB6) in cardiac hypertrophy and failure.

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Department of Pharmacology and Cell Biophysics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH 45267-0575, USA.


Hsp20, referred to as HspB6, is constitutively expressed in various tissues. Specifically, HspB6 is most highly expressed in different types of muscle including vascular, airway, colonic, bladder, and uterine smooth muscle; cardiac muscle; and skeletal muscle. It can be phosphorylated at Ser-16 by both cAMP- and cGMP-dependent protein kinases (PKA/PKG). Recently, Hsp20 and its phosphorylation have been implicated in multiple physiological and pathophysiological processes including smooth muscle relaxation, platelet aggregation, exercise training, myocardial infarction, atherosclerosis, insulin resistance and Alzheimer's disease. In the heart, key advances have been made in elucidating the significance of Hsp20 in contractile function and cardioprotection over the last decade. This mini-review highlights exciting findings in animal models and human patients, with special emphasis on the potential salutary effects of Hsp20 in heart disease. This article is part of a special issue entitled "Key Signaling Molecules in Hypertrophy and Heart Failure."

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