Involvement of heat shock proteins in gluten-sensitive enteropathy

Erna Sziksz, Domonkos Pap, Gábor Veres, Andrea Fekete, Tivadar Tulassay, Ádám Vannay

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

4 Citations (Scopus)


Gluten-sensitive enteropathy, also known as coeliac disease (CD), is an autoimmune disorder occurring in genetically susceptible individuals that damages the small intestine and interferes with the absorption of other nutrients. As it is triggered by dietary gluten and related prolamins present in wheat, rye and barley, the accepted treatment for CD is a strict gluten-free diet. However, a complete exclusion of gluten-containing cereals from the diet is often difficult, and new therapeutic strategies are urgently needed. A class of proteins that have already emerged as drug targets for other autoimmune diseases are the heat shock proteins (HSPs), which are highly conserved stress-induced chaperones that protect cells against harmful extracellular factors. HSPs are expressed in several tissues, including the gastrointestinal tract, and their levels are significantly increased under stress circumstances. HSPs exert immunomodulatory effects, and also play a crucial role in the maintenance of epithelial cell structure and function, as they are responsible for adequate protein folding, influence the degradation of proteins and cell repair processes after damage, and modulate cell signalling, cell proliferation and apoptosis. The present review discusses the involvement of HSPs in the pathophysiology of CD. Furthermore, HSPs may represent a useful therapeutic target for the treatment of CD due to the cytoprotective, immunomodulatory, and anti-apoptotic effects in the intestinal mucosal barrier.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6495-6503
Number of pages9
JournalWorld journal of gastroenterology
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Coeliac disease
  • Gluten-free diet
  • Gluten-sensitive enteropathy
  • Heat shock proteins
  • Intestinal barrier

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Involvement of heat shock proteins in gluten-sensitive enteropathy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this