Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Autoimmune Diseases
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 728605, 6 pages
Review Article

Role of Hsp90 in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Its Clinical Relevance

1Department of Biology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
2Department of Oncology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA

Received 14 July 2012; Accepted 6 September 2012

Academic Editor: Kamal D. Moudgil

Copyright © 2012 Hem D. Shukla and Paula M. Pitha. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Heat shock proteins (HSP) are a family of ubiquitous and phylogenically highly conserved proteins which play an essential role as molecular chaperones in protein folding and transport. Heat Shock Protein 90 (Hsp90) is not mandatory for the biogenesis of most proteins, rather it participate in structural maturation and conformational regulation of a number of signaling molecules and transcription factors. Hsp90 has been shown to play an important role in antigen presentation, activation of lymphocytes, macrophages, maturation of dendritic cells, and in the enhanceosome mediated induction of inflammation. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disease with complex immunological and clinical manifestations. Dysregulated expression of Type I interferon α, activation of B cells and production of autoantibodies are hallmarks of SLE. The enhanced levels of Hsp90 were detected in the serum of SLE patients. The elevated level of Hsp90 in SLE has also been correlated with increased levels of IL-6 and presence of autoantibodies to Hsp90. This suggests that Hsp90 may contribute to the inflammation and disease progression and that targeting of Hsp 90 expression may be a potential treatment of SLE. The pharmacologic inhibition of Hsp90 was successfully applied in mouse models of autoimmune encephalomyelitis and SLE—like autoimmune diseases. Thus targeting Hsp90 may be an effective treatment for SLE, especially if combined with other targeted therapeutic approaches.