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Cell Stress Chaperones. 2015 Mar;20(2):221-35. doi: 10.1007/s12192-014-0548-x. Epub 2014 Oct 25.

Expression, function, and regulation of the testis-enriched heat shock HSPA2 gene in rodents and humans.

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Maria Skłodowska-Curie Memorial Cancer Center and Institute of Oncology, Gliwice Branch, Wybrzeże Armii Krajowej 15, 44-101, Gliwice, Poland,


The HSPA2 gene is a poorly characterized member of the HSPA (HSP70) family. HSPA2 was originally described as testis-specific and expressed at the highest level in pachytene spermatocytes of rodents, the expression of which is not induced by heat shock. HSPA2 is crucial for male fertility. However, recent advances have shown that HSPA2 is expressed in various tumors and in certain types of somatic tissues. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on the HSPA2 expression pattern, including information on transcriptional, translational, posttranslational, and epigenetic mechanisms which regulate HSPA2 expression. We also present and discuss the current views concerning the functions of the HSPA2 protein in spermatogenetic, somatic, and cancer cells. The knowledge of the properties of HSPA2, although limited, shows this protein as a unique member of the HSPA family. However, understanding whether this protein could become a relevant cancer biomarker or a therapeutically applicable target requires extensive further studies.

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