Increased Expression of Human 63-kD Heat Shock Protein Gene in Kawasaki Disease Determined by Quantitative Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction

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To investigate the possible role of heat shock protein (HSP) in the pathogenesis of Kawasaki disease (KD), we determined the expression of 63-kD HSP (PI protein) gene in the leukocytes from the peripheral blood of 20 patients with KD, 20 patients with various other febrile diseases, and 10 healthy children using the quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction technique. Although a low but constitutive expression of HSP was observed in the control patients and healthy children, the expression of HSP63 mRNA was significantly higher during the acute phase of KD. Because mycobacterial HSP65, a cognate of human HSP63, is a common immunogen in bacterial species, and because the major immunopathologic feature of KD is reportedly an abnormally activated immune system, it suggests that an increased level of HSP63 gene transcription may be associated with the pathogenesis of KD.

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