Heat shock proteins and cardiac protection

Cardiovasc Res. 2001 Sep;51(4):637-46. doi: 10.1016/s0008-6363(01)00354-6.


The heat shock proteins (hsps) are expressed in normal cells but their expression is enhanced by a number of different stresses including heat and ischaemia. They play important roles in chaperoning the folding of other proteins and in protein degradation. In the heart a number of studies have shown that prior induction of the hsps by a mild stress has a protective effect against a more severe stress. Moreover, over-expression of an individual hsp in cardiac cells in culture or in the intact heart of either transgenic animals or using virus vectors, also produces a protective effect, directly demonstrating the ability of the hsps to produce protection. These findings indicate the potential importance of developing procedures for elevating hsp expression in a safe and efficient manner in human individuals using either pharmacological or gene therapy procedures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chaperonin 60 / physiology
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Genetic Therapy
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins / physiology
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins / physiology
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Ischemic Preconditioning, Myocardial*
  • Myocardial Infarction / metabolism
  • Myocardial Infarction / prevention & control*
  • Myocardial Infarction / therapy
  • Myocardial Ischemia / metabolism
  • Myocardial Ischemia / therapy
  • Myocardium / metabolism*


  • Chaperonin 60
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Heat-Shock Proteins