O.A. Ross, M.D. Curran, K.A. Crum, Y.A. Barnett, D. Middleton, I.M. Rea

Introduction:Heat shock protein Hsp70 has been implicated in the ageing process and in diseases accompanying increasing.

Methods: We have measured heat shock protein 70 and anti-heat shock protein 70 in serum in subjects from the Belfast Elderly Longitudinal Free-living Aging Study (BELFAST) together with the frequency of the functional polymorphism, T2437C transversion (MetThr), in the HSP 70-Hom gene using oligonucleotide probes. Hsp70 declined significantly with age (p=0.03). Anti-heat shock 70 antibody showed a modest increase with age (p=0.02)

Compared with younger controls, the 2437T polymorphic nucleotide increased non significantly in the elderly, BELFAST subjects. The TT genotype increased significantly increased in the BELFAST group (p=0.03), while conversely the TC genotype was significantly decreased in the aged subjects (p=0.01).

Conclusions: The change from Met (non-polar and hydrophobic) residue to Thr (polar and neutral) residue has been suggested to disrupt the peptide-binding specificity of HSP 70-Hom and have an effect on its functional efficiency. These findings might suggest that carriage of the T allele may negatively influence longevity perhaps through generation of two different HSP 70-Hom protein species.

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