Expression of heat shock protein 27 in human renal cell carcinoma

Cecilia Sarto, Cristina Valsecchi, Fulvio Magni, Lucia Tremolada, Carmelo Arizzi, Nicoletta Cordani, Stefano Casellato, Giancarlo Doro, Paolo Favini, Roberto A. Perego, Francesca Raimondo, Stefano Ferrero, Paolo Mocarelli, Marzia Galli-Kienle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Heat shock protein 27 (HSP27, Swiss-Prot accession number P04792) is a component of the large and heterogeneous group of chaperone proteins, and its main functions are inhibition of apoptosis and prevention of aggregation of actin intermediate filament. Modified expression of HSP27 has been described in several cancers including testis, breast, and ovaric cancer. In the present work, 18 renal cell carcinoma (RCC) tissues and homologous normal kidney tissues have been investigated for HSP27 expression by combination of two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2-D PAGE) separation and Western blotting immunodetection. The results showed significant differences either in expression and in HSP27 isoform numbers in RCC compared to normal kidney. The average number of isoforms was 21 in RCC and 15 in normal tissues with 4.5-5.9 p/ range and 18-29 kDa Mr range. The overexpression was also observed by immunohistochemistry on tissue sections. Only two of RCC samples showed less isoforms than homologous normal samples. Two isoforms were not detected using anti-Ser82 phosphorylated HSP27 antibody, neither in normal nor in RCC samples. Five of all the immunodetected isoforms were confirmed by mass spectrometry as HSP27, but no evidence of post-translational modifications was pointed out. The numerous isoforms observed in RCC are not consistent with data reported in the literature so far, and they might be due to different post-translational modifications such as phosphorylation and S-thiolation. Since activation of HSP27 seems to be involved in tumor proliferation and drug resistance, it would be crucial to correlate the severity of disease with the different isoforms from RCC samples to generate diagnostic and prognostic markers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2252-2260
Number of pages9
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004


  • Heat shock protein 27
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Phosphorylation
  • Renal cell carcinoma
  • Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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