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  • Print publication year: 2005
  • Online publication date: August 2009

19 - Gazing into the Crystal Ball: The Unfolding Future of Molecular Chaperones


Predicting the future of the exobiology of molecular chaperones is bound to be risky business: after all, unravelling the intracellular lives of the chaperones has become legendary for its unexpected twists and turns. Can we expect differently for their extracellular capers? I cannot claim the clearest crystal, but I do have a unique perspective on the field from my perch as Editor-in-Chief of the major specialty journal in the field, Cell Stress & Chaperones. I will refer to papers in recent issues that will lead interested readers to other papers in key areas that I believe provide insights into the future as well. Perhaps we can begin to illuminate the crystal ball by listing major unsolved problems and by identifying the disciplines of the investigators that these problems are now attracting into the field.

One of the exciting and renewing aspects of the heat shock field, as it was known historically, has been the succession of colleagues from different disciplines that have entered and moved the field forward. The chance initial finding of the heat shock response in Drosophila by Ritossa in 1962 [1] was pursued by a small group of Drosophila biologists until about 1978 when the response was discovered in a variety of other organisms. Molecular geneticists were attracted to the heat shock genes as models of inducible eukaryotic gene expression, and the field took on a more global interest.

Ritossa, F A.A new puffing pattern induced by temperature shock and DNP in Drosophila. Experientia 1962, 18: 571–573
Schlesinger, M J, Tissières, A and Ashburner, M (Eds.). Heat Shock, from Bacteria to Man. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press 1982
Tytell, M, Greenberg, S G and Lasek, R J.Heat shock-like protein is transferred from glia to axon. Brain Res 1986, 363: 161–164
Hightower, L E and Guidon, P T.Selective release from cultured mammalian cells of heat-shock (stress) proteins that resemble glia-axon transfer proteins. J Cell Physiol 1989, 138: 257–266
Rubenstein, P, Ruppert, T and Sandra, A.Selective isoactin release from cultured embryonic skeletal muscle cells. J. Cell Biol 1982, 92: 164–169
Tidwell, J L, Houenou, L J and Tytell, M.Administration of Hsp 70 in vivo inhibits motor and sensory neuron degeneration. Cell Stress Chaperon 2004, 9: 88–98
Currie, R W and White, F P.Characterization of the synthesis and accumulation of a 71-kilodalton protein induced in rat tissues after hyperthermia. Can J Biochem Cell Biol 1983, 61: 438–446
Barton, S G R G, Rampton, D S, Winrow, V R, Domizio, P and Feakins, R M.Expression of heat shock protein 32 (hemoxygenase-1) in the normal and inflamed human stomach and colon: an immunohistochemical study. Cell Stress Chaperon 2003, 8: 329–334
Wang, W P, Guo, X, Koo, M W, Wong, B C, Lam, S K, Ye, Y N and Cho, C H.Protective role of heme oxygenase-1 on trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid-induced colitis in rats. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol 2001, 281: G586–594
Kabakov, A E, Budagova, K R, Bryantsev, A L and Latchman, D S.Heat shock protein 70 or heat shock protein 27 overexpressed in human endothelial cells during posthypoxic reoxygenation can protect from delayed apoptosis. Cell Stress Chaperon 2003, 8: 335–347
Gross, C, Schmidt-Wolf, I G H, Nagaraj, S, Gastpar, R, Ellwart, J, Kunz-Schughart, L A and Multhoff, G.Heat shock protein 70-reactivity is associated with increased cell surface density of CD94/CD56 on primary natural killer cells. Cell Stress Chaperon 2003, 8: 348–360