Department of Molecular Biotechnology and Health Sciences, University of Torino, Torino, Italy.
Molecular chaperones are stress proteins that allow the correct folding or unfolding as well as the assembly or disassembly of macromolecular cellular components. Changes in expression and post-translational modifications of chaperones have been linked to a number of age- and stress-related diseases including cancer, neurodegeneration, and cardiovascular diseases. Redox sensible post-translational modifications, such as S-nitrosylation, glutathionylation and phosphorylation of chaperone proteins have been reported. Redox-dependent regulation of chaperones is likely to be a phenomenon involved in metabolic processes and may represent an adaptive response to several stress conditions, especially within mitochondria, where it impacts cellular bioenergetics. These post-translational modifications might underlie the mechanisms leading to cardioprotection by conditioning maneuvers as well as to ischemia/reperfusion injury. In this review, we discuss this topic and focus on two important aspects of redox-regulated chaperones, namely redox regulation of mitochondrial chaperone function and cardiac protection against ischemia/reperfusion injury.
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