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Eur J Cell Biol. 2012 Jan;91(1):48-52. doi: 10.1016/j.ejcb.2011.02.001. Epub 2011 Mar 31.

Hsp70, a messenger from hyperthermia for the immune system.

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Helmholtz Zentrum München-German Research Center for Environmental Health, Institute of Molecular Immunology, Marchioninistrasse 25, Munich, Germany.


Heat shock proteins (Hsps) hold a dual role depending on their location. Inside cells, they fulfill essential survival functions as molecular chaperones forming complexes with intracellular polypeptides (self or foreign) to help in protein folding, the resolution of protein aggregates and intracellular protein transport. Released from the cell, they act as messengers communicating the cells' interior protein composition to the immune system for initiation of immune responses against intracellular proteins. Here we describe the mechanisms by which Hsp70, the heat-inducible Hsp70 family member, crosstalks with the immune system. Further, we discuss that clinical hyperthermia could be a way to initiate the immunologic activity of Hsp70 by upregulating its expression and facilitating release through local necrosis.

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