Abstract Evolutionarily conserved heat shock proteins are involved in the heat shock response of cells in response to changes in the external environment. In normal tissues, heat shock proteins can help cells survive in a rapidly changing environment. Likewise, in malignant tumors heat shock proteins may help tumor cells cope with external stresses as well as the stress of treatment. In this way they become accomplices of malignant tumors. Here we demonstrated for the first time that high expression of DNAJC24 (a heat shock protein) shortens survival in patients with HCC by immunohistochemical staining of 167 paired hepatocellular carcinomas and paraneoplastic tissues as well as data from public databases. In vitro experiments demonstrated that stimuli such as hypoxia, starvation and heat could upregulate DNAJC24 expression in HCC cells through transcriptional regulation of HSF2, and high expression of DNAJC24 in HCC cells could promote the proliferation and motility of HCC cells. In addition, we also verified that targeting DNAJC24 under normal culture conditions can affect the proliferation and autophagy of HCC cells by interfering with ammonia metabolism, thereby inhibiting the malignant progression of HCC. Overall, we suggested that DNAJC24 may become a new target for the treatment of HCC.