Proteotoxic stress of cancer: implication of the heat-shock response in oncogenesis.

Document Type


Publication Date



Cell Transformation, Neoplastic, Cytoprotection, DNA-Binding Proteins, Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic, Heat-Shock Response, Humans, Neoplasms, Oxidative Stress, Reactive Oxygen Species, Transcription Factors

JAX Source

J Cell Physiol 2012 Aug; 227(8):2982-7.




Organisms frequently encounter a wide variety of proteotoxic stressors. The heat-shock response, an ancient cytoprotective mechanism, has evolved to augment organismal survival and longevity in the face of proteotoxic stress from without and within. These broadly recognized beneficial effects, ironically, contrast sharply with its emerging role as a culprit in the pathogenesis of cancers. Here, we present an overview of the normal biology of the heat-shock response and highlight its implications in oncogenic processes, including the proteotoxic stress phenotype of cancer; the function of this stress response in helping cancer survive and adapt to proteotoxic stress; and perturbation of proteome homeostasis in cancer as a potential therapeutic avenue.