The heat shock proteins (hsps) are expressed in normal cells but their expression is enhanced by a number of different stresses including heat and ischaemia. They play important roles in chaperoning the folding of other proteins and in protein degradation. In the heart a number of studies have shown that prior induction of the hsps by a mild stress has a protective effect against a more severe stress. Moreover, over-expression of an individual hsp in cardiac cells in culture or in the intact heart of either transgenic animals or using virus vectors, also produces a protective effect, directly demonstrating the ability of the hsps to produce protection. These findings indicate the potential importance of developing procedures for elevating hsp expression in a safe and efficient manner in human individuals using either pharmacological or gene therapy procedures. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Latchman, D. S. (2001). Heat shock proteins and cardiac protection. Cardiovascular Research. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0008-6363(01)00354-6