Cell Stress and Chaperones

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 245–251 | Cite as

The level of Hsp27 in lymphocytes is negatively associated with a higher risk of lung cancer

  • Feng Wang
  • Maohui Feng
  • Ping Xu
  • Han Xiao
  • Piye Niu
  • Xiaobo Yang
  • Yun Bai
  • Ying Peng
  • Pinfang Yao
  • Hao Tan
  • Robert M. Tanguay
  • Tangchun WuEmail author
Original Paper


Heat shock proteins (Hsps) can protect cells, organs, and whole organisms against damage caused by abnormal environmental hazards. Some studies have reported that lymphocyte Hsps may serve as biomarkers for evaluating disease status and exposure to environmental stresses; however, few epidemiologic studies have examined the associations between lymphocyte Hsps levels and lung cancer risk. We examined lymphocyte levels of Hsp27 and Hsp70 in 263 lung cancer cases and age- and gender-matched cancer-free controls by flow cytometry. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to estimate the association between lymphocyte Hsps levels and lung cancer risk. Our results showed that Hsp27 levels were significantly lower in lung cancer cases than in controls (16.5 vs 17.8 mean fluorescence intensity, P < 0.001). This was not observed for Hsp70 levels. Further stratification analysis revealed that lymphocyte Hsp27 levels were negatively associated with lung cancer risk especially in males and heavy smokers. There was a statistical trend of low odd ratios (95% confidence intervals) and upper tertile levels of Hsp27 [1.000, 0.904 (0.566–1.444) and 0.382 (0.221–0.658, P trend = 0.001) in males and 1.000, 0.9207 (0.465–1.822) and 0.419 (0.195–0.897, P trend = 0.036) in heavy smokers] after adjustment for confounding factors. These results suggest that lower lymphocyte Hsp27 levels might be associated with an increased risk of lung cancer. Our findings need to be validated in a large prospective study.


Biomarker Hsp27 Hsp70 Hsps Lung cancer Lymphocyte Risk 



bovine serum albumin


confidence intervals


heat shock protein 27


heat shock protein 70


heat shock proteins


mean fluorescence intensity


odds ratios


phosphate-buffered saline



We thank all individuals who volunteered to participate in this study and the members of health examination center of Wugang Worker-Staff Hospital and Qingyi Wei of The University of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center for his critical review and scientific editing. This work was supported by research funds from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NNSFC 30525031 and 30600491) and the National Key Basic Research and Development Program (2002CB512905), and a NNSFC-CIHR (Canadian Institutes of Health Research) joint research program to Tangchun Wu and Robert M Tanguay.


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Copyright information

© Cell Stress Society International 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Feng Wang
    • 1
  • Maohui Feng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ping Xu
    • 3
  • Han Xiao
    • 1
  • Piye Niu
    • 1
  • Xiaobo Yang
    • 1
  • Yun Bai
    • 1
  • Ying Peng
    • 3
  • Pinfang Yao
    • 4
  • Hao Tan
    • 1
  • Robert M. Tanguay
    • 5
  • Tangchun Wu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Occupational and Environmental Health and Ministry of Education Key Lab for Environment and Health, 2nd Building, School of Public Health, Tongji Medical CollegeHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of OncologyZhongnan Hospital of Wuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  3. 3.Department of OncologyWugang Staff-Worker HospitalWuhanChina
  4. 4.Cancer InstituteHubei Cancer HospitalWuhanChina
  5. 5.Laboratory of Cellular and Developmental Genetics, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, and PROTEO, Pavillon C.E. MarchandUniversité LavalQuébecCanada

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