Roles of constitutively secreted extracellular chaperones in neuronal cell repair and regeneration

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Neural Regeneration Research


Protein quality control involves many processes that jointly act to regulate the expression, localization, turnover, and degradation of proteins, and has been highlighted in recent studies as critical to the differentiation of stem cells during regeneration. The roles of constitutively secreted extracellular chaperones in neuronal injury and disease are poorly understood. Extracellular chaperones are multifunctional proteins expressed by many cell types, including those of the nervous system, known to facilitate protein quality control processes. These molecules exert pleiotropic effects and have been implicated as playing important protective roles in a variety of stress conditions, including tissue damage, infections, and local tissue inflammation. This article aims to provide a critical review of what is currently known about the functions of extracellular chaperones in neuronal repair and regeneration and highlight future directions for this important research area. We review what is known of four constitutively secreted extracellular chaperones directly implicated in processes of neuronal damage and repair, including transthyretin, clusterin, α2-macroglobulin, and neuroserpin, and propose that investigation into the effects of these and other extracellular chaperones on neuronal repair and regeneration has the potential to yield valuable new therapies.

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