Small heat shock proteins are a rather heterogeneous family of ATP-independent chaperones, some of which have been proven to block protein aggregation and help the cells to survive stressful conditions. Although much less studied than high molecular weight HSPs like HSP70/HSPA or HSP90/HSPC, their implication in physio-pathological processes and human diseases is now well evidenced, as it will be discussed in the different reviews of this special issue. In this mini-review we will just present a general introduction about the small heat shock proteins family. This article is part of a Directed Issue entitled: Small HSPs in physiology and pathology.
Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd.