Molecular chaperones in tumors of salivary glands

Francesca Rappa, Francesco Cappello, Charbel Basset, Angelo Leone, Vincenzo Luca Lentini, Abdo R. Jurjus, Francesco Cappello, Everly Conway De Macario, Alberto J. L. Macario, Vincenzo Luca Lentini

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The salivary glands are key components of the mouth and play a central role in its physiology. Their importance may be appreciated considering their number, occurrence in pairs, and distribution in the mouth: two parotids, two submandibular, two sublingual, and many other small ones scattered throughout the mouth. They produce saliva, without which ingestion of non-liquid nutrients and speech would be practically impossible. Nevertheless, the physiology and pathology of salivary glands are poorly understood. For instance, tumors of salivary glands occur, and their incidence is on the rise, but their etiology and pathogenesis are virtually unknown, although some risk factors have been identified. Likewise, the role of the chaperoning system in the development, normal functioning, and pathology, including carcinogenesis, remains to be determined. This scarcity of basic knowledge impedes progress in diagnosis, disease monitoring, and therapeutics of salivary gland tumors. We are currently involved in examining the chaperoning system of human salivary glands and we performed a search of the literature to determine what has been reported relating to oncology. We found data pertaining to six components of the chaperone system, namely HSP27, HSP60, HSP70, HSP84, HSP86, and GRP78, and to another HSP, the heme-oxygenase H-O1, also named HSP32, which does not belong in the chaperoning system but seemed to have potential as a biomarker for diagnostic purposes as much as the HSP/chaperones mentioned above. The reported quantitative variations of the six chaperones were distinctive enough to distinguish malignant from benign tumors, suggesting that these molecules hold potential as biomarkers useful in differential diagnosis. Also, the quantitative variations described accompanying tumor development, as observed in cancers of other organs, encourages research to elucidate whether chaperones play a role in the initiation and/or progression of salivary gland tumors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-115
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Molecular Histology
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Histology
  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology

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    Rappa, F., Cappello, F., Basset, C., Leone, A., Lentini, V. L., Jurjus, A. R., Cappello, F., Conway De Macario, E., Macario, A. J. L., & Lentini, V. L. (2020). Molecular chaperones in tumors of salivary glands. Journal of Molecular Histology, 51, 109-115.