Heat shock proteins and ovarian cancer : important roles and therapeutic opportunities
Ovarian cancer is a serious cause of death in gynecological oncology. Delayed diagnosis and poor survival rates associated with late stages of the disease are major obstacles against treatment efforts. Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are stress responsive molecules known to be crucial in many cancer types including ovarian cancer. Clusterin (CLU), a unique chaperone protein with analogous oncogenic criteria to HSPs, has also been proven to confer resistance to anti-cancer drugs. Indeed, these chaperone molecules have been implicated in diagnosis, prognosis, metastasis and aggressiveness of various cancers. However, relative to other cancers, there is limited body of knowledge about the molecular roles of these chaperones in ovarian cancer. In the current review, we shed light on the diverse roles of HSPs as well as related chaperone proteins like CLU in the pathogenesis of ovarian cancer and elucidate their potential as effective drug targets.