Membrane heat shock protein 70: A theranostic target for cancer therapy

Maxim Shevtsov, Gao Huile, Gabriele Multhoff

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Members of the 70 kDa stress protein family are found in nearly all subcellular compartments of nucleated cells where they fulfil a number of chaperoning functions. Heat shock protein 70 (HSP70), also termed HSPA1A, the major stress-inducible member of this family is overexpressed in a large variety of different tumour types. Apart from its intracellular localization, a tumourselective HSP70 membrane expression has been determined. A membrane HSP70-positive tumour phenotype is associated with aggressiveness and therapy resistance, but also serves as a recognition structure for targeted therapies. Furthermore, membrane-bound and extracellularly residing HSP70 derived from tumour cells play pivotal roles in eliciting anti-tumour immune responses. Herein, we want to shed light on the multiplicity of different activities of HSP70, depending on its intracellular, membrane and extracellular localization with the goal to use membrane HSP70 as a target for novel therapies including nanoparticle-based approaches for the treatment of cancer. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Heat shock proteins as modulators and therapeutic targets of chronic disease: an integrated perspective’.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20160526
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1738
StatePublished - 19 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer
  • HSP70 targeting
  • Nanoparticle therapy
  • Theranostic


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