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Scientists discover new function of heat-shock protein

September 07, 2018 / Isabelle Dubach

An international research team has identified a new function of Hsp90, one of the most common and studied proteins in the human body. The study has implications for the development of new drugs.
New research by teams at UNSW and VIB-KU Leuven in Belgium shows that in addition to its well-known role as a protein chaperone, heat-shock protein Hsp90 also stimulates exosome release. The findings – published today in the academic journal Molecular Cell – shed new light on treatment strategies for both cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.
Hsp90, short for heat-shock protein 90, is one of the most common proteins, making up one or two out of every hundred proteins in our cells. Heat shock proteins are conserved across animals, plants and even fungi. Their name dates back to the 1980s when they were first described as a group of proteins upregulated upon sudden heat stress.