Hsp70: Anti-apoptotic and Tumorigenic Protein

Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 787)


Heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) is a powerful chaperone whose expression is induced in response to a wide variety of physiological and environmental insults, including anticancer chemotherapy, thus allowing the cell to survive to lethal conditions. Hsp70 cytoprotective properties may be explained by its anti-apoptotic function. Indeed, this protein can inhibit key effectors of the apoptotic machinery at the pre- and postmitochondrial level. In cancer cells, the expression of Hsp70 is abnormally high, and Hsp70 may participate in oncogenesis and in resistance to chemotherapy. In rodent models, Hsp70 overexpression increases tumor growth and metastatic potential. Depletion or inhibition of Hsp70 frequently reduces the size of the tumors and even can cause their complete involution. But Hsp70 can also be found in the extracellular medium. Its role is then immunogenic and the term chaperokine to define the extracellular chaperones has been advanced. Hsp70 tumorigenic functions as well as the strategies that are being developed in cancer therapy in order to inhibit Hsp70 are commented in this chapter.

Key words

Hsp70 Apoptosis Cancer Anticancer therapy Immunomodulator 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne-Laure Rérole
    • 1
  • Gaëtan Jego
    • 1
  • Carmen Garrido
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Medicine and PharmacyINSERM, U-866DijonFrance

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