The multiple roles and therapeutic potential of molecular chaperones in prostate cancer
Prostate cancer (PCa) is one of the most common cancer types in men worldwide. Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are molecular chaperones that are widely implicated in the pathogenesis, diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of many cancers. The role of HSPs in PCa is complex and their expression has been linked to the progression and aggressiveness of the tumor. Prominent chaperones, including HSP90 and HSP70, are involved in the folding and trafficking of critical cancer-related proteins. Other members of HSPs, including HSP27 and HSP60, have been considered as promising biomarkers, similar to prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA), for PCa screening in order to evaluate and monitor the progression or recurrence of the disease. Moreover, expression level of chaperones like clusterin has been shown to correlate directly with the prostate tumor grade. Hence, targeting HSPs in PCa has been suggested as a promising strategy for cancer therapy. In the current review, we discuss the functions as well as the role of HSPs in PCa progression and further evaluate the approach of inhibiting HSPs as a cancer treatment strategy.