Chaperonopathies by defect, excess, or mistake

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2007 Oct;1113:178-91. doi: 10.1196/annals.1391.009. Epub 2007 May 4.


The stress response, stress proteins, heat-shock genes and proteins, molecular chaperone genes and proteins, and a number of closely related molecules and cellular processes have been studied over the last few decades. A huge amount of information has accumulated that is scattered in printed and electronic literature and databases. Most of this information constitutes the subject matter of the science of chaperonology. More recently, the concept of chaperone pathology, sick chaperones, has evolved since various pathological conditions have been identified in which defective chaperones play an etiologic role. These conditions are the chaperonopathies. Recent findings on chaperonopathies are briefly discussed in this article. Chaperonopathies occur at all ages; as a rule the genetic cases have an early clinical onset while the acquired chaperonopathies become manifest in the elderly and/or in association with other diseases. Other fields of chaperonology, which will most likely be expanded in the near future, are the study of extracellular chaperones, chaperone networks, the therapeutic use of chaperones (i.e., chaperonotherapy) to manage chaperonopathies and to improve cell performance in the face of stress, the evaluation of chaperones as diagnostic markers and as prognostic indicators, and the development of antichaperone agents to suppress chaperone-gene expression or inhibit chaperone function when chaperones contribute to disease rather than the opposite.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn / etiology
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn / genetics
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn / metabolism
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn / pathology
  • Humans
  • Molecular Chaperones / adverse effects*
  • Molecular Chaperones / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Molecular Chaperones / genetics
  • Molecular Chaperones / physiology*


  • Molecular Chaperones