Inducible Hsp70 (Hsp70i) is overexpressed in a wide spectrum of human tumors and its expression correlates with metastasis, poor outcomes, and resistance to chemotherapy in patients. Identification of small molecule inhibitors selective for Hsp70i could provide new therapeutic tools for cancer treatment. We used a fluorescence-linked enzyme chemoproteomic strategy (FLECS) to identify HS-72, a novel selective allosteric inhibitor for Hsp70i. HS-72 displays the hallmarks of Hsp70 inhibition in cells, promoting substrate protein degradation and growth inhibition. Importantly, HS-72 is highly selective for Hsp70i over the closely related constitutively active Hsc70. Studies with purified protein show HS-72 acts as an allosteric inhibitor, reducing ATP affinity. In vivo HS-72 is well-tolerated, showing bioavailability and efficacy, inhibiting tumor growth and promoting survival in a HER2+ model of breast cancer. The HS-72 scaffold is amenable to resynthesis and iteration, suggesting the molecule is an ideal starting point for a new generation of anticancer therapeutics selectively targeting Hsp70i.
An estimated three billion people are at risk of Dengue virus (DENV) infection worldwide and there are currently no approved therapeutic interventions for DENV infection. Due to the relatively small size of the DENV genome, DENV is reliant on host factors throughout the viral lifecycle. The inducible form of Heat Shock Protein 70 (Hsp70i) has been implicated as a host factor in DENV pathogenesis, however the complete role remains to be elucidated. We showed the importance of Hsp70i in dengue virus pathogenesis and described the antiviral activity of HS-72. In monocytes, Hsp70i is expressed at low levels preceding DENV infection, but Hsp70i expression is induced upon DENV infection. Targeting Hsp70i with HS-72, results in a dose dependent reduction in DENV infected monocytes, while cell viability was maintained. HS-72 works to reduce DENV infection by inhibiting the entry stage of the viral lifecycle, through disrupting the association of Hsp70i with the DENV receptor complex. This work highlights Hsp70i as an antiviral target and HS-72 as a potential anti-DENV therapeutic agent.