Heat Shock Factor 1 Inhibition: A Novel Anti-Cancer Strategy with Promise for Precision Oncology

Khanisyah Erza Gumilar, Yeh Chin, Ibrahim Haruna Ibrahim, Brahmana A. Tjokroprawiro, Jer Yen Yang, Ming Zhou, Natalie R. Gassman, Ming Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Heat shock factor 1 (HSF1) is a transcription factor crucial for regulating heat shock response (HSR), one of the significant cellular protective mechanisms. When cells are exposed to proteotoxic stress, HSF1 induces the expression of heat shock proteins (HSPs) to act as chaperones, correcting the protein-folding process and maintaining proteostasis. In addition to its role in HSR, HSF1 is overexpressed in multiple cancer cells, where its activation promotes malignancy and leads to poor prognosis. The mechanisms of HSF1-induced tumorigenesis are complex and involve diverse signaling pathways, dependent on cancer type. With its important roles in tumorigenesis and tumor progression, targeting HSF1 offers a novel cancer treatment strategy. In this article, we examine the basic function of HSF1 and its regulatory mechanisms, focus on the mechanisms involved in HSF1′s roles in different cancer types, and examine current HSF1 inhibitors as novel therapeutics to treat cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5167
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


  • HSF1
  • cancer stem cells
  • cellular stress
  • heat shock response
  • tumor microenvironment


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