Inhibitor of Heat Shock Protein is a Potential Anticancer Drug

October 30, 2009

Penn Medicine News Release

Donna George, PhD, associate professor of Genetics, and Julie Leu, PhD, assistant professor of Genetics, identified a small molecule that inhibits the heat shock protein HSP70. They also showed that the HSP inhibitor, called PES, could stop tumor formation and significantly extend survival of mice. They describe their findings in this month's issue of Molecular Cell. PES seems to be specifically targeting HSP70, a protein that is differentially expressed in nomral versus cancerous cells, and "one that the cancer cells seems to require to survive" says George. "It's still early days -- we don't know what it will do in a human. But, the exciting part is that this is a pathway and a protein target that clearly is important ofr cancer cells." Read More