Heat-Shock Protein 27 (HSPB1) Is Upregulated and Phosphorylated in Human Platelets during ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction

Heat-shock proteins are a family of proteins which are upregulated in response to stress stimuli including inflammation, oxidative stress, or ischemia. Protective functions of heat-shock proteins have been studied in vascular disease models, and malfunction of heat-shock proteins is associated with vascular disease development. Heat-shock proteins however have not been investigated in human platelets during acute myocardial infarction ex vivo. Using two-dimensional electrophoresis and immunoblotting, we observed that heat-shock protein 27 (HSPB1) levels and phosphorylation are significantly increased in platelets of twelve patients with myocardial infarction compared to patients with nonischemic chest pain (6.4 ± 1.0-fold versus 1.0 ± 0.9-fold and 5.9 ± 1.8-fold versus 1.0 ± 0.8-fold; p < 0.05). HSP27 (HSPB1) showed a distinct and characteristic intracellular translocation from the cytoskeletal fraction into the membrane fraction of platelets during acute myocardial infarction that did not occur in the control group. In this study, we could demonstrate for the first time that HSP27 (HSPB1) is upregulated and phosphorylated in human platelets during myocardial infarction on a cellular level ex vivo with a characteristic intracellular translocation pattern. This HSP27 (HSPB1) phenotype in platelets could thus represent a measurable stress response in myocardial infarction and potentially other acute ischemic events.