Elucidating the role of molecular chaperones in cancer

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The Hsp70 chaperone is of prime importance to cancer biology; supporting proliferative growth and stress survival, blocking apoptosis, and fighting protein aggregation caused by aneuploidy or mutation. One central cancer-related substrate of the Hsp70 system is the p53 tumor suppressor protein, in both wild-type and mutant forms, which interacts with the Hsp70 system for (re)folding, stabilization, and degradation. The molecular basis of these interactions and pathway triaging, however, are unknown. This project therefore aims to characterize the roles these molecular chaperones play in cancer pathology.