The aim of the present study was to evaluate the expression of the heat shock protein 60 (HSP60), a mitochondrial matrix-associated protein belonging to the chaperonin family, in colorectal adenomas and cancers, comparing them to normal colonic tissues and hyperplastic polyps. We performed both immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis for HSP60. Immunohistochemistry resulted positive in all tubular adenomas and infiltrating adenocarcinomas. By contrast, normal tissues and hyperplastic polyps were negative. Quantitative analysis showed that tubular adenomas with different levels of dysplasia did not present statistical differences concerning HSP60 positivity. In addition, carcinomas always showed the highest expression. Western blot analysis confirmed these observations. These data suggest that HSP60 over-expression is an early event in carcinogenesis. We suspect that HSP60 plays a different role in colorectal carcinogenesis with respect to that in normal cells, which foresees its possible use as diagnostic and prognostic tools.