Constitutive expression of the heat shock protein 72 kDa in human melanoma cells

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Heat shock proteins (hsp) are a family of proteins characteristically produced under stress conditions in normal cells. Overexpression of hsp 70 kDa protects tumoral cells from tumor necrosis factor cytotoxicity and is related to drug resistance. In this study we investigated whether hsp are abnormally expressed in melanoma cells in vivo. Antibodies directed against hsp 72 and hsp 90 were used to identify hsp on non-stressed neoplastic cells derived from surgical specimens of two primary and four metastatic melanomas. Hsp 72 and hsp 90 were always present at high level in the cytoplasm of melanoma cells. It is possible that the activation of hsp genes during neoplastic transformation confers a selective advantage to tumoral cells in vivo, allowing them to escape the immunological surveillance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-216
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 14 1994


  • Heart shock protein
  • Humans
  • Melanoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Molecular Biology
  • Oncology


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