chaperones Chaperonins, intracellular proteins that assist in the correct folding of other proteins by means of hydrophobic surfaces that recognize and bind to exposed hydrophobic surfaces on misfolded proteins. Chaperones also assist proteins to arrive at the sites in the cell where they carries out their function. Intracellular proteins with abnormal configurations interact abnormally with other molecules, and many disease processes relate to misfolded proteins. Misfolding of proteins that are regulators of growth and differentiation and contribute to ageing and many diseases. It may, for instance, may be an important factor in the causation of cancers. Protein misfolding may be a factor in as many as half of all diseases. Increasing understanding of this phenomenon may lead to new and important therapies.