From protein-protein interaction to therapy response: molecular imaging of heat shock proteins

Eur J Radiol. 2009 May;70(2):294-304. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2009.01.052. Epub 2009 Mar 20.


HSP70 promoter-driven gene therapy and inhibition of HSP90 activity with small molecule inhibitors are two shining points in a newly developed cohort of cancer treatment. For HSP70 promoters, high efficiency and heat inducibility within a localized region make it very attractive to clinical translation. The HSP90 inhibitors exhibit a broad spectrum of anticancer activities due to the downstream effects of HSP90 inhibition, which interfere with a wide range of signaling processes that are crucial for the malignant properties of cancer cells. In this review article, we summarize exciting applications of newly emerged molecular imaging techniques as they relate to HSP, including protein-protein interactions of HSP90 complexes, therapeutic response of tumors to HSP90 inhibitors, and HSP70 promoters-controlled gene therapy. In the HSPs context, molecular imaging is expected to play a vital role in promoting drug development and advancing individualized medicine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Diagnostic Imaging / trends*
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Probe Techniques / trends*
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Protein Interaction Mapping / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Neoplasm Proteins