Molecular chaperones as regulatory elements of cellular networks

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2005 Apr;17(2):210-5. doi: 10.1016/


Molecular chaperones help hundreds of signaling molecules to keep their activation-competent state, and regulate various signaling processes ranging from signaling at the plasma membrane to transcription. Besides these specific regulatory roles, recent studies have revealed that chaperones act as genetic buffers stabilizing the phenotypes of various cells and organisms. This may be related to their low affinity for the proteins they interact with, which means that they represent weak links in protein networks. Chaperones may uncouple protein, signaling, membrane, organelle and transcriptional networks during stress, which gives the cell additional protection. The same networks are preferentially remodeled in various diseases and aging, which may help us to design novel therapeutic and anti-aging strategies.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Death / physiology
  • Cellular Senescence / physiology
  • Enzyme Activation / physiology
  • Genes, Regulator / physiology
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism*
  • Molecular Chaperones / metabolism*
  • Protein Folding
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Stress, Physiological / drug therapy
  • Stress, Physiological / metabolism*
  • Stress, Physiological / physiopathology


  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Molecular Chaperones