Heat Shock Proteins: key mediators of Health and Disease.
Heat shock proteins (HSP) are essential molecules conserved through cellular evolution required for cells to survive the stresses encountered in the environment and in the tissues of the developing and aging organism. These proteins play the essential roles in stress of preventing the initiation of programmed cell death and repairing damage to the proteome permitting resumption of normal metabolism. Loss of the HSP is lethal either in the short-term in cases of acute stress or in the long-term when exposure to stress is chronic. Cells appear to walk a fine line in terms of HSP expression. If expression falls below a certain level, cells become sensitive to oxidative damage that influences aging and protein aggregation disease. If HSP levels rise above the normal range, inflammatory and oncogenic changes occur.
It is becoming clear that HSP are emerging as remarkably versatile mediators of health and disease. The aim of this series of volumes is to examine how HSP regulation and expression become altered in pathological states and how this may be remedied by pharmacological and other interventions.
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