[Frontiers in Bioscience S3, 341-351, January 1, 2011]

Hsp60: molecular anatomy and role in colorectal cancer diagnosis and treatment

Francesco Cappello1, Sabrina David1, Giovanni Peri1, Felicia Farina1, Everly Conway de Macario2, Alberto JL Macario2, Giovanni Zummo1

1Department of Experimental Biomedicine and Clinical Neurosciences, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy, 2Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, and IMET, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, USA


1. Abstract
2. Introduction
3. Hsp60: molecular anatomy and physiology
4. Involvement of Hsp60 in pathogenesis
5. Hsp60 in cancer development
6. Hsp60 and CRC development
7. Conclusions
8. References


Quantitative changes in Hsp60 during the development of some tumors suggest that this chaperonin plays a role in carcinogenesis. A description of the specific role(s) of Hsp60 in tumor-cell growth and proliferation is still incomplete, but it is already evident that monitoring its levels and distribution in tissues and fluids has potential for diagnosis and staging, and for assessing prognosis and response to treatment. Although Hsp60 is considered an intramitochondrial protein, it has been demonstrated in the cytosol, cell membrane, vesicles, cell surface, extracellular space, and blood. The knowledge that Hsp60 occurs at all these locations opens new avenues for basic and applied research. It is clear that elucidating the mechanisms by which the chaperonin arrives at these various locations, and characterizing its functions in each of them will provide information useful for understanding carcinogenesis and for developing diagnostic and therapeutic tools for clinical oncology. Some of these issues pertinent to colorectal cancer (CRC) are discussed in this article.