- Human pathology

Home > B. Cellular pathology > cellular stress

cellular stress

Tuesday 2 December 2003

Stress to the cell causes protein denaturation: the protein molecule loses its native functional conformation when it unfolds. Chaperones assist the damaged molecule to regain its functional conformation.

If cellular stress proceeds unchecked by such antistress mechanisms as the protein-refolding action of chaperones, intracellular proteins become denatured and insoluble.

These denatured proteins tend to stick to one another, precipitate, and form inclusion bodies. The development of inclusion bodies is a common pathologic process in Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, and Huntington disease, even in the absence of cellular stress.

Denatured and aggregated proteins cannot function and must either be rescued or eliminated with the help of chaperone proteins.


- neuronal stress

  • neuronal stress responses

See also

- stress-activated protein kinases


- Macario AJ, Conway de Macario E. Sick chaperones, cellular stress, and disease. N Engl J Med. 2005 Oct 6;353(14):1489-501. PMID: 16207851

- Pearce AK, Humphrey TC. Integrating stress-response and cell-cycle checkpoint pathways. Trends Cell Biol. 2001 Oct;11(10):426-33. PMID: 11567876

- Beere HM, Green DR. Stress management - heat shock protein-70 and the regulation of apoptosis. Trends Cell Biol. 2001 Jan;11(1):6-10. PMID: 11146277