Clusterin is a ubiquitous glycoprotein found in most physiological fluids and tissues. Although not fully understood, the function of clusterin seems to be related to its ability to bind a wide variety of molecules. Since clusterin has been found associated with extracellular protein aggregates, a role as a molecular chaperone has been proposed. In this issue of the Biochemical Journal, Le Dréan and colleagues demonstrate an up-regulation of clusterin in neuronal cells exposed to proteotoxic stress that results in unfolded protein accumulation and proteasome impairment, both commonly associated with neurodegenerative diseases. Interestingly, expression of clusterin was found to be regulated by two members of the HSF (heat-shock factor) family, HSF1 and HSF2, which possibly form a trimeric complex on the clusterin promoter. The study proposes clusterin as a player in a cellular defence mechanism against harmful protein accumulation, and highlights the importance of elucidating further the exact role of clusterin and the intriguing interaction between HSF1 and HSF2.