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Induction of a heat shock factor 1-dependent stress response alters the cytotoxic activity of hsp90-binding agents. Clin Cancer Res 2000 Aug;6(8):3312-8



Pubmed ID


Scopus ID

2-s2.0-0033890818   214 Citations


In addition to its classic role in the cellular stress response, heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) plays a critical but less well appreciated role in regulating signal transduction pathways that control cell growth and survival under basal, nonstress conditions. Over the past 5 years, the antitumor antibiotics geldanamycin and radicicol have become recognized as selective Hsp90-binding agents (HBA) with a novel ability to alter the activity of many of the receptors, kinases, and transcription factors involved in these cancer-associated pathways. As a consequence of their interaction with Hsp90, however, these agents also induce a marked cellular heat shock response. To study the mechanism of this response and assess its relevance to the anticancer action of the HBA, we verified that the compounds could activate a reporter construct containing consensus binding sites for heat shock factor 1 (HSF1), the major transcriptional regulator of the vertebrate heat shock response. We then used transformed fibroblasts derived from HSF1 knock-out mice to show that unlike conventional chemotherapeutics, HBA increased the synthesis and cellular levels of heat shock proteins in an HSF1-dependent manner. Compared with transformed fibroblasts derived from wild-type mice, HSF1 knock-out cells were significantly more sensitive to the cytotoxic effects of HBA but not to doxorubicin or cisplatin. Consistent with these in vitro data, we found that systemic administration of an HBA led to marked increases in the level of Hsp72 in both normal mouse tissues and human tumor xenografts. We conclude that HBA are useful probes for studying molecular mechanisms regulating the heat shock response both in cells and in whole animals. Moreover, induction of the heat shock response by HBA will be an important consideration in the clinical application of these drugs, both in terms of modulating their cytotoxic activity as well as monitoring their biological activity in individual patients.

Author List

Bagatell R, Paine-Murrieta GD, Taylor CW, Pulcini EJ, Akinaga S, Benjamin IJ, Whitesell L


Ivor J. Benjamin MD Center Director, Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

3T3 Cells
Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
Cell Transformation, Viral
DNA-Binding Proteins
HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins
Heat Shock Transcription Factors
Heat-Shock Response
Lactams, Macrocyclic
Mice, Inbred BALB C
Mice, Knockout
Mice, SCID
Transcription Factors
Transcriptional Activation
Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays
jenkins-FCD Prod-482 91ad8a360b6da540234915ea01ff80e38bfdb40a