Heat Shock Proteins in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Authors C. Barbatis, M. Tsopanomichalou.


Stress or heatshock proteins (HSPs) belong to five families of highly conserved intracellular proteins functioning as constitutive chaperones maintaining protein trafficking, structural integrity and repair. Their synthesis is induced by numerous stimuli ranging from environmental stress to inflammation regardless of etiology or malignancy. In normal mucosa HSP27 and HSP70 an normally expressed in the surface epithelium of the colon, an area continually subjected to inducible signals from the enteric flora and short chain fatty acids, rendering the epithelium resistant to bacterial toxins and inflammation associated stress. In inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) the heatshock proteins may play in important role as there is accumulating evidence that they suppress proinflammatory genes relevant to its pathogenesis. The mechanisms of suppression or induction of HSPS in inflamed gut mucosa need further research with the ultimate purpose that these molecules could be a target for therapeutic interventions.
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