Table 1: Overview of heat shock protein ocular location and involvement in diseases of the eye.

Hsp subtypeDiseases

CorneaHsp27
Hsp60
Hsp70
Hsp72
Hsp90
(i) Epithelial wound healing: Hsp70 has been suggested to be involved in wound healing of the cornea.
(ii) UV radiation: the level of Hsp27 is increased in the corneal epithelium following UVB radiation and is suggested to play a protective role against such damaging radiation.

LensHsp27
Alpha-crystallin
Hsp40
Hsp70
(i) Cataract: Hsps have been suggested to play a significant role in cataract development most likely by either mutation of alpha-crystallin or by alpha-crystallin degeneration with age.

RetinaHsp27
Hsp70
Hsp40
Hsp84
Hsp86
Hsp90
(i) Age-related macular degeneration (AMD): Hsp27 and alpha-crystallin are suggested to play a role in AMD after having been found to be induced and elevated in retina samples affected by the disease.
(ii) Diabetic retinopathy.
(iii) Glaucoma, light injury: possibly neuroprotective.

ChoroidHsp-Beta1

Other(i) Ocular cancer: various ocular cancers are associated with increased levels of Hsps. It is not clear whether Hsps play a role in cancer development or are increased as a result of secondary homeostatic mechanisms.
 (a) Retinoblastoma: high expression of alpha-crystallin, Hsp70, and -90 have been found.
 (b) Uveal melanoma: increased levels of Hsp-beta1, -60, -70, and -90 have been detected. Hsp27 has been found increased, and low or not detectable.
(ii) Glaucoma: Hsp27, -60, -70, and -72 have been found increased in glaucomatous eyes and pressure induced ischemic rodent eyes. However, it is unclear if Hsps confer cellular protection.