Expression of 60-kD heat shock protein increases during carcinogenesis in the uterine exocervix

Pathobiology. 2002-2003;70(2):83-8. doi: 10.1159/000067304.


Objectives: The aim of the present study was to determine the presence and expression of the 60-kD heat shock protein (HSP60) in the dysplasia-carcinoma sequence in the uterine exocervix and to evaluate its diagnostic and prognostic significance.

Methods and results: We performed Western blot and immunohistochemical analyses on biopsies from 40 cases, consisting of 10 normal exocervical biopsies, 10 low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (L-SIL), 10 high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (H-SIL) and 10 cancerous exocervices (G2 grade). The immunohistochemical results were quantified by computer-assisted image analysis. Western blot analysis showed that HSP60 was undetectable in normal tissues and that there was a gradual increase of protein expression from L-SIL to carcinoma. Immunostaining for HSP60 was negative in normal tissue and positive in basal and parabasal layers of L-SIL epithelium; H-SIL were markedly stained in all layers of epithelium, and carcinomas showed an even stronger positivity. The increasing expression correlated with the malignancy grade. Finally, koilocytes were mostly negative in L-SIL and positive in H-SIL.

Conclusions: The increasing degree of expression of HSP60 from L-SIL to carcinoma and the different intraepithelial distribution between L-SIL and H-SIL could be used as a new diagnostic tool. Moreover, HSP60 could have a role in cervical carcinogenesis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Blotting, Western
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia / metabolism*
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia / pathology
  • Chaperonin 60 / biosynthesis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Precancerous Conditions / metabolism*
  • Prognosis
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology


  • Chaperonin 60