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The Role of Heat Shock Protein (HSP) in Atherosclerosis: Pathophysiology and Clinical Opportunities

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The highly conserved heat-shock proteins (HSPs) from mammals and microbial reagents are among the immunogenic proteins. Their expression is induced in response to a wide variety of physiological and environmental insults. Their functions as molecular chaperones allow cells to adapt to gradual changes in their environment and to survive in otherwise lethal conditions. Although the role of HSPs in atherosclerosis remains controversial, HSPs were thought to act as autoantigens, and trigger both cell- and antibody-mediated immune responses. However, HSPs possess immunoregulatory attributes as well and therefore, are being exploited for immunomodulation of atherosclerosis either by the adaptive or innate immune system. This review will focus on a number of HSPs from different families including HSPE, HSPB, DNAJ, HSPD, HSPA, HSPC and HSPH. The role of these HSPs, their protective vs. immunogenic properties with special emphasis on their potential as targets to develop therapeutic agent against atherosclerosis will be discussed.

Keywords: Heat shock protein; atherosclerosis; autoimmune; immune response; inflammation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Thrombosis Research Institute,Manresa Road, London, SW3 6LR, UK.

Publication date: 2010-04-01

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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