Age- and stress-induced modulations in chaperone systems result in “chaperono-deficiency” or “chaperonopulence”. Development of modulators, of chaperone function has therefore, become an emerging field in drug development and discovery. This mini-review summarizes (i) the events leading to identification of an Hsp70 family stress chaperone, mortalin, (ii) experimental evidence to its role in old age diseases and cancer, and (iii) proposes it as a chaperonotherapeutic agent. As post-translational modifications and expression changes in mortalin are being explored as a biomarker for cancer, cardiovascular diseases and neurodegeneration, we discuss here how the current tools used in studying mortalin (e.g. antibodies, peptides, ribozymes, antisense and siRNA, recombinant proteins and small molecules etc.) could be creatively applied in a clinical setting to manage stress and to treat various chaperone-based maladies or “chaperonopathies”.
Keywords: Mortalin, stress chaperone, upregulation, cancer, chaperono-therapeutic agent, aging
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