Heat shock proteins as possible biomarkers for diagnosing various stages of cancer.

Taylor Reininger


Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are a type of molecular chaperone that is mainly known to only be active during times of extreme cell duress. Heat shock proteins aid in refolding damaged proteins as well as helping to ensure that proteins are correctly folded. Although heat shock proteins appear to contribute positively during times of extreme environmental duress evidence has also indicated that they contribute to the rapid growth of tumor cells as well as not allowing proper cell death as means of controlling cell development.  Over expression of these proteins has often times been associated with a number of cancers in humans as well as a strong resistance to known treatments. Exciting results indicate that there is a possibility of identifying and diagnosing early stage human cancers (specifically liver cancer) by testing for the overexpression of heat shock proteins, and using them as a biomarker indicator of cancer cells. 

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