Heat shock proteins and exercise adaptations. Our knowledge thus far and the road still ahead
Henstridge, DC and Febbraio, MA and Hargreaves, M, Heat shock proteins and exercise adaptations. Our knowledge thus far and the road still ahead, Journal of Applied Physiology, 120, (6) pp. 683-691. ISSN 8750-7587 (2016) [Refereed Article]
By its very nature, exercise exerts a challenge to the body's cellular homeostatic mechanisms. This homeostatic challenge affects not only the contracting skeletal muscle but also a number of other organs and results over time in exercise-induced adaptations. Thus it is no surprise that heat shock proteins (HSPs), a group of ancient and highly conserved cytoprotective proteins critical in the maintenance of protein and cellular homeostasis, have been implicated in exercise/activity-induced adaptations. It has become evident that HSPs such as HSP72 are induced or activated with acute exercise or after chronic exercise training regimens. These observations have given scientists an insight into the protective mechanisms of these proteins and provided an opportunity to exploit their protective role to improve health and physical performance. Although our knowledge in this area of physiology has improved dramatically, many questions still remain unanswered. Further understanding of the role of HSPs in exercise physiology may prove beneficial for therapeutic targeting in diseased patient cohorts, exercise prescription for disease prevention, and training strategies for elite athletes.