HSP70, a heat shock protein, is a molecular chaperone responsive to various environmental stresses. Here, NtHSP70-1 was a drought-/ABA-inducible gene. We monitored the expression of CaERD15 (early responsive to dehydration) with exposing plants to progressive drought stress. Its activity was used as an indicator of water-deficit conditions. To analyze the protective role of HSP70, we obtained transgenic tobacco plants that constitutively expressed elevated levels of the tobacco HSP70, NtHSP70-1, as well as transgenic plants containing either the vector alone or else having NtHSP70-1 in the antisense orientation. Plants with enhanced levels of NtHSP70-1 in their transgenic sense lines exhibited tolerance to water stress. Under progressive drought, the amount of leaf NtHSP70-1 was correlated with maintenance of optimum water content, with contents being higher in the leaves of dehydrated transgenic sense plants than in those of either the control (vector-only) or the transgenic antisense plants. Moreover, the expression of CaERD15 was considerably reduced in tobacco plants that over-expressed NtHSP70-1. These results suggest that elevated levels of NtHSP70-1 can confer drought-stress tolerance.