Indian J Lepr 2008, 80 : 231-245 Review Article


Dissection of Relationship between
Small Heat Shock Proteins and Mycobacterial Diseases


B Jee1, VM Katoch2, SK Awasthi3
 

  1. B Jee, MSc, Research Scholar, National JALMA Institute for Leprosy and Other Mycobacterial Diseases (ICMR), Dept of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt of India, Dr M Miyazaki Marg, Tajganj, Agra-282001; Institute of Life Sciences, CSJM University, Kanpur-208024, India
  2. VM Katoch, MD, Director, National JALMA Institute for Leprosy and Other Mycobacterial Diseases (ICMR), Dept of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt of India, Dr M Miyazaki Marg, Tajganj, Agra-282001, India
  3. SK Awasthi, PhD, Assistant Professor, Institute of Life Sciences, CSJM University, Kanpur-208024, India

Correspondence to : Dr VM Katoch, Email: vishwamohan_katoch@yahoo.co.in




Abstract

Mycobacteria belong to a genus which has membership ranging from saprophytes to deadly pathogens that cause several infectious diseases affecting a large population of the world. Among them, tuberculosis and leprosy are the major granulomatous mycobacterial diseases. While there are successes and failures in the fight against these infections, mechanisms of pathogenesis continue to be a challenge to clinicians and biologists alike. Though it is known that both host and bacterial factors are important in the pathogenicity versus protection, all the triggers and responses are not known. Among various bacterial factors, small heat shock proteins (sSHPs) could be important targets for drug development, immunomodulation and serodiagnosis. sSHPs are the molecular chaperones that are believed to act as mantle for the mycobacteria against host's immune attack and facilitate the survival of pathogen in host body. Best studied small heat shock proteins in M. tuberculosis are sSHP16.3 and Acr2 while in M. leprae, it is 18 kD protein antigen. In this review, works on various aspects of small heat shock proteins which fall in 10 to 19 kD range have been summarized and some thoughts about future road-map have been put into.

Key words: Small heat shock proteins, sSHP 16.3, Acr2, Mycobacterial diseases