heat shock proteinnoun
variants: or heat-shock protein
Medical Definition of heat shock protein
: any of a group of molecular chaperones that are produced especially in cells subjected to stressful conditions (such as high temperature or changes in pH) and that serve to stabilize proteins and ensure proper assembly and folding of proteins Normally, heat-shock proteins protect other proteins inside a cell from being damaged by extreme heat or other stress.— Nathan Seppa, Science News, 1 Dec. 2001
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