The small HSP (heat-shock protein) HSP20 is a molecular chaperone that is transiently up-regulated in response to cellular stress/damage. Although ubiquitously expressed in various tissues, it is most highly expressed in skeletal, cardiac and smooth muscle. Phosphorylation at Ser16 by PKA (cAMP-dependent protein kinase) is essential for HSP20 to confer its protective qualities. HSP20 and its phosphorylation have been implicated in a variety of pathophysiological processes, but most prominently cardiovascular disease. A wealth of knowledge of the importance of HSP20 in contractile function and cardioprotection has been gained over the last decade. The present mini-review highlights more recent findings illustrating the cardioprotective properties of HSP20 and its potential as a therapeutic agent.
- heat-shock protein 20 (HSP20)
- peptide array
- phosphodiesterase type 4 (PDE4)