Association of HSP70 and genotoxic damage in lymphocytes of workers exposed to coke-oven emission

Cell Stress Chaperones. 2002 Oct;7(4):396-402. doi: 10.1379/1466-1268(2002)007<0396:aohagd>;2.


Heat shock proteins (Hsps) have been reported to protect cells, tissues, and organisms against damage from a wide variety of stressful stimuli. Whether they protect against deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) damage in individuals exposed to environmental stresses and chemical carcinogens is unknown. In the study, we investigated the association between Hsp70 levels (the most abundant mammalian Hsp) and genotoxic damage in lymphocytes of workers exposed to coke-oven emission using Western dot blot and 2 DNA damage assays, the comet assay and the micronucleus test. The data show that there is a significant increase in Hsp70 levels, DNA damage score, and micronucleus rates in lymphocytes of workers exposed to coke-oven emission as compared with the control subjects. Furthermore, there was a significant negative correlation of Hsp70 levels with DNA damage scores in the comet assay (r = -0.663, P < 0.01) and with micronucleus rates (r = -0.461, P < 0.01) in the exposed group. In the control group, there was also a light negative correlation between Hsp70 with DNA damage and micronuclei rate (r = -0.236 and r = 0.242, respectively), but it did not reach a statistically significant level (P > 0.05). Our results show that individuals who had high Hsp70 levels generally showed lower genotoxic damage than others. These results suggest a role of Hsp70 in the protection of DNA from genotoxic damage induced by coke-oven emission.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Air Pollutants, Occupational / toxicity*
  • Coke / toxicity*
  • Comet Assay
  • DNA Damage / drug effects*
  • DNA Damage / genetics
  • Environmental Exposure
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins / drug effects*
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes / drug effects*
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Male
  • Micronuclei, Chromosome-Defective / drug effects
  • Micronuclei, Chromosome-Defective / genetics
  • Micronuclei, Chromosome-Defective / pathology
  • Micronucleus Tests
  • Mutagens / toxicity*
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking
  • Statistics as Topic


  • Air Pollutants, Occupational
  • Coke
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Mutagens