In humans, Hsp70 chaperones are ubiquitously expressed in the cytosol,
endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria. They fulfill important roles in protein folding
and the protection of cells from stress. Different forms of Hsp70 have also been
found to regulate specific signaling pathways, many related to cell death. Cancer cells
are notably abnormally dependent on Hsp70 chaperones for their survival. The importance
of Hsp70s as drug targets is increasingly being recognized, particularly as potential cancer therapeutics. This review
surveys recent advances in understanding Hsp70 mechanisms and then moves to provide an overview of current efforts directed
at inhibiting Hsp70s as a target in diseases such as cancer and neurodegenerative disease.
Keywords: Hsp70, Chaperone, Cancer, Apoptosis, Small molecules.
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