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Cancer Cell. 2008 Sep 9;14(3):250-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ccr.2008.08.002.

Dual targeting of HSC70 and HSP72 inhibits HSP90 function and induces tumor-specific apoptosis.

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Signal Transduction and Molecular Pharmacology Team, Cancer Research UK Centre for Cancer Therapeutics, The Institute of Cancer Research, Haddow Laboratories, Sutton, Surrey SM2 5NG, UK.


Heat-shock protein 70 (HSP70) isoforms contribute to tumorigenesis through their well-documented antiapoptotic activity and via their role as cochaperones for the HSP90 molecular chaperone. HSP70 expression is induced following treatment with HSP90 inhibitors, which may attenuate the cell death effects of this class of inhibitor. Here we show that silencing either heat-shock cognate 70 (HSC70) or HSP72 expression in human cancer cell lines has no effect on HSP90 activity or cell proliferation. However, simultaneously reducing the expression of both of these isoforms induces proteasome-dependent degradation of HSP90 client proteins, G1 cell-cycle arrest, and extensive tumor-specific apoptosis. Importantly, simultaneous silencing of HSP70 isoforms in nontumorigenic cell lines does not result in comparable growth arrest or induction of apoptosis, indicating a potential therapeutic window.

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