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1.  MEK1/2 inhibitors and 17AAG synergize to kill human GI tumor cells in vitro via suppression of c-FLIP-s levels and activation of CD95 
Molecular cancer therapeutics  2008;7(9):2633-2648.
Prior studies have noted that inhibitors of MEK1/2 enhanced geldanamycin lethality in malignant hematopoietic cells by promoting mitochondrial dysfunction. The present studies focused on defining the mechanism(s) by which these agents altered survival in carcinoma cells. MEK1/2 inhibitors (PD184352; AZD6244 (ARRY-142886)) interacted in a synergistic manner with geldanamycins (17AAG, 17DMAG) to kill hepatoma and pancreatic carcinoma cells that correlated with inactivation of ERK1/2 and AKT and with activation of p38 MAPK; p38 MAPK activation was ROS-dependent. Treatment of cells with MEK1/2 inhibitors and 17AAG reduced expression of c-FLIP-s that was mechanistically connected to loss of MEK1/2 and AKT function; inhibition of caspase 8 or over-expression of c-FLIP-s abolished cell killing by MEK1/2 inhibitors and 17AAG. Treatment of cells with MEK1/2 inhibitors and 17AAG caused a p38 MAPK-dependent plasma membrane clustering of CD95 without altering the levels or cleavage of FAS ligand. In parallel, treatment of cells with MEK1/2 inhibitors and 17AAG caused a p38 MAPK-dependent association of caspase 8 with CD95. Inhibition of p38 MAPK or knock down of BID, FADD or CD95 expression suppressed MEK1/2 inhibitor and 17AAG lethality. Similar correlative data were obtained using a xenograft flank tumor model system. Our data demonstrate that treatment of tumor cells with MEK1/2 inhibitors and 17AAG induces activation of the extrinsic pathway and that suppression of c-FLIP-s expression is crucial in transduction of the apoptotic signal from CD95 to promote cell death.
doi:10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-08-0400
PMCID: PMC2585522  PMID: 18790746
CD95; caspase; extrinsic; FLIP
2.  OSU-03012 interacts with lapatinib to kill brain cancer cells 
Cancer Biology & Therapy  2012;13(14):1501-1511.
We have further defined mechanism(s) by which the drug OSU-03012 (OSU) kills brain cancer cells. OSU toxicity was enhanced by the HSP90 inhibitor 17-N-Allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin (17AAG) that correlated with reduced expression of ERBB1 and ERBB2. Inhibition of the extrinsic apoptosis pathway blocked the interaction between 17AAG and OSU. OSU toxicity was enhanced by the inhibitor of ERBB1/2/4, lapatinib. Knock down of ERBB1/2/4 in a cell line specific fashion promoted OSU toxicity. Combined exposure of cells to lapatinib and OSU resulted in reduced AKT and ERK1/2 activity; expression of activated forms of AKT and to a lesser extent MEK1 protected cells from the lethal effects of the drug combination. Knock down of PTEN suppressed, and expression of PTEN enhanced, the lethal interaction between OSU and lapatinib. Downstream of PTEN, inhibition of mTOR recapitulated the effects of lapatinib. Knock down of CD95, NOXA, PUMA, BIK or AIF, suppressed lapatinib and OSU toxicity. Knock down of MCL-1 enhanced, and overexpression of MCL-1 suppressed, drug combination lethality. Lapatinib and OSU interacted in vivo to suppress the growth of established tumors. Collectively our data argue that the inhibition of ERBB receptor function represents a useful way to enhance OSU lethality in brain tumor cells.
doi:10.4161/cbt.22275
PMCID: PMC3542242  PMID: 22990204
glioblastoma; medulloblastoma; lapatinib; OSU-03012; apoptosis; autophagy; ERBB1; PTEN
3.  Analysis in vivo of GRP78-BiP/substrate interactions and their role in induction of the GRP78-BiP gene. 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  1992;3(2):143-155.
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-localized chaperone protein, GRP78-BiP, is involved in the folding and oligomerization of secreted and membrane proteins, including the simian virus 5 hemagglutinin-neuraminidase (HN) glycoprotein. To understand this interaction better, we have constructed a series of HN mutants in which specific portions of the extracytoplasmic domain have been deleted. Analysis of these mutant polypeptides expressed in CV-1 cells have indicated that GRP78-BiP binds to selective sequences in HN and that there exists more than a single site of interaction. Mutant polypeptides have been characterized that are competent and incompetent for association with GRP78-BiP. These mutants have been used to show that the induction of GRP78-BiP synthesis due to the presence of nonnative protein molecules in the ER is dependent on GRP78-BiP complex formation with its substrates. These studies have implications for the function of the GRP78-BiP protein and the mechanism by which the gene is regulated.
Images
PMCID: PMC275514  PMID: 1550958
4.  OSU-03012 suppresses GRP78/BiP expression that causes PERK-dependent increases in tumor cell killing 
Cancer Biology & Therapy  2012;13(4):224-236.
We have further defined mechanism(s) by which the drug OSU-03012 (OSU) kills tumor cells. OSU lethality was suppressed by knock down of PERK and enhanced by knock down of ATF6 and IRE1α. OSU treatment suppressed expression of the chaperone, BiP/GRP78, and did so through reduced stability of the protein. Knock down of BiP/GRP78 further enhanced OSU lethality. Overexpression of BiP/GRP78 abolished OSU toxicity. Pre-treatment of cells with OSU enhanced radiosensitivity to a greater extent than concomitant or sequential drug treatment with radiation exposure. Expression of a mutant active p110 PI3K, or mutant active forms of the EGFR in GBM cells did not differentially suppress OSU killing. In contrast loss of PTEN function reduced OSU lethality, without altering AKT, p70 S6K or mTOR activity, or the drug's ability to radiosensitize GBM cells. Knock down of PTEN protected cells from OSU and radiation treatment whereas re-expression of PTEN facilitated drug lethality and radiosensitization. In a dose-dependent fashion OSU prolonged the survival of mice carrying GBM tumors and interacted with radiotherapy to further prolong survival. Collectively, our data show that reduced BiP/GRP78 levels play a key role in OSU-3012 toxicity in GBM cells, and that this drug has in vivo activity against an invasive primary human GBM isolate.
doi:10.4161/cbt.13.4.18877
PMCID: PMC3336069  PMID: 22354011
OSU-03012; BiP/GRP78; ER stress; PERK; ionizing radiation; ceramide
5.  Flux of the paramyxovirus hemagglutinin-neuraminidase glycoprotein through the endoplasmic reticulum activates transcription of the GRP78-BiP gene. 
Journal of Virology  1991;65(7):3590-3597.
The cellular glucose-regulated protein GRP78-BiP is a member of the HSP70 stress family of gene products, and the protein is a resident component of the endoplasmic reticulum, where it is thought to play a role in the folding and oligomerization of secretory and membrane-bound proteins. GRP78-BiP also binds to malfolded proteins, and this may be one mechanism for preventing their intracellular transport. An induction in synthesis of the GRP78-BiP protein occurs in cells infected with paramyxoviruses (R. W. Peluso, R. A. Lamb, and P. W. Choppin, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 75:6120-6124, 1978). We have studied the expression and activity of the GRP78-BiP gene and synthesis of the GRP78-BiP protein during infection with the paramyxovirus simian virus 5 (SV5). We wished to identify the viral component capable of causing activation of GRP78-BiP since GRP78-BiP interacts specifically and transiently with the SV5 hemagglutinin-neuraminidase (HN) glycoprotein during HN folding (D. T. W. Ng, R. E. Randall, and R. A. Lamb, J. Cell Biol. 109:3273-3289, 1989). Expression of cDNAs of the SV5 wild-type HN glycoprotein and a mutant form of HN that is malfolded but not the SV5 F glycoprotein or SV5 cytoplasmic proteins P, V, and M caused increased amounts of GRP78-BiP mRNA to accumulate, as detected by nuclease S1 protection assays. As unfolded or malfolded forms of HN cannot be detected to accumulate during SV5 infection, the data suggest that the flux of HN through the ER in SV5-infected cells can cause activation of GRP78-BiP transcription.
Images
PMCID: PMC241361  PMID: 2041085
6.  Targeting GRP75 Improves HSP90 Inhibitor Efficacy by Enhancing p53-Mediated Apoptosis in Hepatocellular Carcinoma 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e85766.
Heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) inhibitors are potential drugs for cancer therapy. The inhibition of HSP90 on cancer cell growth largely through degrading client proteins, like Akt and p53, therefore, triggering cancer cell apoptosis. Here, we show that the HSP90 inhibitor 17-AAG can induce the expression of GRP75, a member of heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) family, which, in turn, attenuates the anti-growth effect of HSP90 inhibition on cancer cells. Additionally, 17-AAG enhanced binding of GRP75 and p53, resulting in the retention of p53 in the cytoplasm. Blocking GRP75 with its inhibitor MKT-077 potentiated the anti-tumor effects of 17-AAG by disrupting the formation of GRP75-p53 complexes, thereby facilitating translocation of p53 into the nuclei and leading to the induction of apoptosis-related genes. Finally, dual inhibition of HSP90 and GRP75 was found to significantly inhibit tumor growth in a liver cancer xenograft model. In conclusion, the GRP75 inhibitor MKT-077 enhances 17-AAG-induced apoptosis in HCCs and increases p53-mediated inhibition of tumor growth in vivo. Dual targeting of GRP75 and HSP90 may be a useful strategy for the treatment of HCCs.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0085766
PMCID: PMC3894982  PMID: 24465691
7.  Induction of Angiogenesis by Heat Shock Protein 90 Mediated by Protein Kinase Akt and Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase 
Objective
A specific inhibitor of heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90), 17-AAG, has been shown to inhibit tumor growth through cell cycle arrest, differentiation, or apoptosis. Because angiogenesis is important for tumor growth, we hypothesize that inhibition of angiogenesis by 17-AAG may mediate some of its antitumor effects.
Methods and Results
Because protein kinase Akt and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) are critical for angiogenesis, we studied the effects of 17-AAG on the phosphorylation and expression of Akt and eNOS in human umbilical vein endothelial cells. In a concentration- and time-dependent manner, inhibition of Hsp90 by 17-AAG decreased Akt and eNOS expression by 74% and 81%, respectively. Inhibition of eNOS expression by 17-AAG occurred at the transcriptional level as determined by eNOS promoter activity and nuclear run-on assay. Furthermore, treatment with 17-AAG decreased basal and vascular endothelial growth factor-stimulated Akt and eNOS phosphorylation. This corresponded with decreased NO production and inhibition of endothelial cell migration and angiogenesis. The anti-angiogenic effect of 17-AAG was partially reversed by the NO donor, SNAP.
Conclusions
These findings indicate that Hsp90 is important not only for Akt and eNOS phosphorylation but also for eNOS gene transcription and suggests that Hsp90 may be a novel target for anti-angiogenic therapy.
doi:10.1161/01.ATV.0000147894.22300.4c
PMCID: PMC2633590  PMID: 15486309
angiogenesis; endothelium; nitric oxide; heat shock protein; protein kinase Akt
8.  Oxidative stress plays a critical role in inactivating mutant BRAF by geldanamycin derivatives 
Cancer research  2008;68(15):6324-6330.
The geldanamycin derivatives 17-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin (17-AAG) and 17-dimethylaminoethylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin (17-DMAG) are promising chemotherapeutic drugs that inhibit heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) function. Previous studies have shown that 17-AAG/DMAG treatment induces the degradation of mutant BRAF (V600E) and inhibits the activation of MAP/ERK1/2 (MEK1/2). We have found, however, that HSP90 inhibition alone is not sufficient for efficient BRAF(V600E) degradation in some cells. HSP90 inhibitors structurally unrelated to geldanamycin, radicicol and novobiocin, while inducing the degradation of the HSP90 client protein RAF-1 fail to induce BRAF(V600E) degradation or inhibit MEK1/2 activation in HT29 human colon cancer cells ‥ Moreover, after treatment with 17-DMAG, the kinase activity of residual, un-degraded BRAF(V600E) was also lost. Incubation of cells with a reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenger, N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), partially restored kinase activity and also partially prevented BRAF(V600E) degradation due to 17-DMAG treatment. Conversely, treatment with the ROS producing drug menadione clearly inhibited MEK1/2 and reduced BRAF(V600E). These results suggest that in addition to direct inhibition of HSP90, the anti-tumor effect of geldanamycin and its derivatives is also mediated though the production of ROS which may directly inactivate tumorigenic mutant BRAF(V600E).
doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-07-6602
PMCID: PMC2693332  PMID: 18676857
BRAF; MAP kinase; geldanamycin; HSP90; ROS
9.  MEK inhibition potentiates the activity of Hsp90 inhibitor 17-AAG against pancreatic cancer cells 
Molecular pharmaceutics  2010;7(5):1576-1584.
The Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK signaling has been implicated in uncontrolled cell proliferation and tumor progression in pancreatic cancer. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the antitumor activity of MEK inhibitor U0126 in combination with Hsp90 inhibitor 17-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin (17-AAG) in pancreatic cancer cells. Western blotting showed that 17-AAG caused a 2- to 3-fold transient activation of MEK/ERK signaling in pancreatic cancer cells. The activation sustained for 6 h before phospho-ERK (p-ERK) destabilization. The selective MEK inhibitor U0126 completely abolished 17-AAG induced ERK1/2 activation and resulted in more than 80% of phosphor-ERK degradation after only 15 min treatment. Moreover, U0126 had complementary effect on 17-AAG regulated oncogenic and cell cycle related proteins. Although 17-AAG downregulated cyclin D1, cyclin E, CDK4 and CDK6, it led to cyclin A and CDK2 accumulation, which was reversed by the addition of U0126. Anti-proliferation assay showed that combination of U0126 and 17-AAG resulted in synergistic cytotoxic effect. More importantly, 17-AAG alone only exhibited moderate inhibition of cell migration in vitro, while addition of U0126 dramatically enhanced the inhibitory effect by 2- to 5-fold. Taken together, these data demonstrate that MEK inhibitor U0126 potentiates the activity of Hsp90 inhibitor 17-AAG against pancreatic cancer cells. The combination of Hsp90 and MEK inhibition could provide a promising avenue for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.
doi:10.1021/mp900321a
PMCID: PMC2992603  PMID: 20669973
Hsp90; MEK; ERK; 17-AAG
10.  Antitumor activity of MEK and PI3K inhibitors against malignant pleural mesothelioma cells in vitro and in vivo 
International Journal of Oncology  2012;41(2):449-456.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive malignancy for which there is no approved targeted therapy. We examined the therapeutic efficacy of the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitors against human MPM cell lines both in vitro and orthotopically inoculated into severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice. In addition, the molecular mechanisms of these agents were confirmed in vitro and in vivo. The MEK or the PI3K inhibitor suppressed MPM cell growth in vitro in a dose-dependent manner via induction of G1 cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. In addition, combined use of the MEK and PI3K inhibitors showed an additive or synergistic inhibitory effect on MPM cell growth compared to treatment with either individual drug. Treatment with MEK or PI3K inhibitor suppressed the production of thoracic tumors and pleural effusion and prolonged the survival time of EHMES-10 cell-bearing SCID mice. The combination therapy more effectively prolonged the survival time compared to treatment with either individual drug. Immunohistochemical and western blot analysis of thoracic tumors suggested that these agents induced cell cycle arrest, apoptosis and inhibition of tumor angiogenesis. Our results suggest that a combination of MEK and PI3K inhibitors is a promising therapeutic strategy for MPM.
doi:10.3892/ijo.2012.1462
PMCID: PMC3582904  PMID: 22580933
malignant pleural mesothelioma; mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase inhibitor; phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor; cell cycle; apoptosis; angiogenesis
11.  Regulating the retention of T-cell receptor alpha chain variants within the endoplasmic reticulum: Ca(2+)-dependent association with BiP 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1991;114(2):189-205.
Immunoglobulin heavy chain binding protein (BiP, GRP 78) coprecipitates with soluble and membrane-associated variants of the T-cell antigen receptor alpha chain (TCR-alpha) which are stably retained within the ER. Chelation of Ca2+ during solubilization of cells leads to the dissociation of BiP from the TCR-alpha variants, which is dependent upon the availability of Mg2+ and hydrolyzable ATP; this suggests that Ca2+ levels can serve to modulate the association/dissociation of these proteins with BiP. In vivo treatment of cells expressing either the soluble or membrane-anchored TCR-alpha variants with the Ca2+ ionophore, A23187, or an inhibitor of an ER Ca(2+)-ATPase, thapsigargin, or the membrane-permeant Ca2+ chelator BAPTA-AM, results in the redistribution of these proteins out of the ER and their subsequent secretion or cell surface expression. Under the same assay conditions, no movement of BiP out of the ER is observed. Taken together, these observations indicate that decreased Ca2+ levels result in the dissociation of a protein bound to BiP, leading to its release from ER retention. These data suggest that the intracellular fate of newly synthesized proteins stably associated with BiP can be regulated by Ca2+ levels in the ER.
PMCID: PMC2289081  PMID: 1649196
12.  Characterization of a novel novobiocin analogue as a putative C-terminal inhibitor of heat shock protein 90 in prostate cancer cells 
The Prostate  2010;70(1):27-36.
Purpose
Hsp90 is important in the folding, maturation and stabilization of pro-tumorigenic client proteins and represents a viable drug target for the design of chemotherapies. Previously, we reported the development of novobiocin analogues designed to inhibit the C-terminal portion of Hsp90, which demonstrated the ability to decrease client protein expression. We now report the characterization of the novel novobiocin analogue, F-4, which demonstrates improved cytotoxicity in prostate cancer cell lines compared to the N-terminal inhibitor, 17-AAG.
Materials and Methods
LNCaP and PC-3 cells were treated with 17-AAG or F-4 in anti-proliferative, apoptosis, cell cycle and cytotoxicity assays. Western blot and prostate specific antigen (PSA) ELISAs were used to determine client protein degradation, induction of Hsp90 and to assess the functional status of the androgen receptor (AR) in response to F-4 treatment. Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) was also used to determine the binding properties of F-4 to Hsp90.
Results
F-4 demonstrated improved potency and efficacy compared to novobiocin in anti-proliferative assays and decreased expression of client proteins. PSA secretion was inhibited in a dose-dependent manner that paralleled a decrease in AR expression. The binding of F-4 to Hsp90 was determined to be saturable with a binding affinity (Kd) of 100 µM. In addition, superior efficacy was demonstrated by F-4 compared to 17-AAG in experiments measuring cytotoxicity and apoptosis
Conclusions
These data reveal distinct modes of action for N-terminal and C-terminal Hsp90 inhibitors, which may offer unique therapeutic benefits for the treatment of prostate cancer.
doi:10.1002/pros.21035
PMCID: PMC2787716  PMID: 19739131
Hsp90 inhibitors; prostate cancer; novobiocin
13.  Activated Ras/MEK Inhibits the Antiviral Response of Alpha Interferon by Reducing STAT2 Levels▿ †  
Journal of Virology  2009;83(13):6717-6726.
The ability of interferon (IFN) to induce the expression of antiviral genes, and therefore suppress viral infection, is dependent on the activity of cellular suppressors. The Ras/MEK pathway is one of these cellular suppressors, since the activation of Ras/MEK permits viral replication in the presence of alpha IFN (IFN-α). Here, we have investigated the mechanism by which activated Ras/MEK inhibits the IFN-α response. We found that the induction of antiviral proteins in response to IFN-α was impaired in Ras-transformed NIH 3T3 (RasV12) cells. The inhibition of the Ras/MEK pathway restored the IFN-mediated induction of antiviral genes, indicating that activated Ras interrupts the IFN pathway upstream of antiviral gene transcription. Indeed, the IFN-induced phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1) and STAT2 was inhibited in RasV12 cells compared to that of vector control cells. In addition, we found that the total amount of STAT2 was reduced in RasV12 cells. To determine if the impaired IFN-α response can be rescued by restoring the overall level of STAT2, we overexpressed STAT2 in RasV12 cells. The IFN-α-induced phosphorylation of STAT1 and STAT2, as well as the expression of antiviral protein, were restored, and IFN-induced antiviral protection was partially restored. Moreover, we demonstrated that the downregulation of STAT2 levels by Ras/MEK was mediated at the transcriptional level. Thus, the activation of the Ras/MEK pathway reduces the amount of STAT2 available for propagating the IFN signal, resulting in the impairment of the IFN-α-induced antiviral response.
doi:10.1128/JVI.02213-08
PMCID: PMC2698556  PMID: 19386709
14.  Role of GRP78/BiP Degradation and ER Stress in Deoxynivalenol-Induced Interleukin-6 Upregulation in the Macrophage 
Toxicological Sciences  2009;109(2):247-255.
The trichothecene mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON) induces systemic expression of the interleukin-6 (IL-6) and other proinflammatory cytokines in the mouse. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that DON triggers an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response in murine macrophages capable of driving IL-6 gene expression. DON at concentrations up 5000 ng/ml. was not cytotoxic to peritoneal cells. However, DON markedly decreased protein levels but not the mRNA levels of glucose-regulated protein (GRP) 78 (BiP), a chaperone known to mediate ER stress. Inhibitor studies suggested that DON-induced GRP78 degradation was cathepsin and calpain dependent but was proteosome-independent. RNAi-mediated knockdown of GRP78 resulted in increased IL-6 gene expression indicating a potential downregulatory role for this chaperone. GRP78 is critical to the regulation of the two transcription factors, X-box binding protein 1 (XBP1) and activating transcription factor 6 (ATF6), which bind to cAMP-response element (CRE) and drive expression of CRE-dependent genes such as IL-6. DON exposure was found to increase IRE1α protein, its modified products spliced XBP1 mRNA and XBP1 protein as well as ATF6. Knockdown of ATF6 but not XBP1 partially inhibited DON-induced IL-6 expression in the macrophages. Three other trichothecenes (satratoxin G, roridin, T-2 toxin) and the ribosome inhibitory protein ricin were also found to induce GRP78 degradation suggesting that other translation inhibitors might evoke ER stress. Taken together, these data suggest that in the macrophage DON induces GRP78 degradation and evokes an ER stress response that could contribute, in part, to DON-induced IL-6 gene expression.
doi:10.1093/toxsci/kfp060
PMCID: PMC2721661  PMID: 19336499
deoxynivalenol (DON); interleukin-6; ER stress, translation inhibition
15.  The Molecular Chaperone GRP78/BiP as a Therapeutic Target for Neurodegenerative Disorders: A Mini Review 
The glucose regulated protein 78 (GRP78), also known as BiP, is the endoplasmatic reticulum (ER) homologue of HSP70, which plays a dual role in the ER by controlling protein folding, in order to prevent aggregation, and by regulating the signaling of the unfolded protein response (UPR). Most neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s diseases and progressive retinal degeneration are characterized by activation of the UPR and modified expression of GRP78. The expression levels and activity of GRP78 are altered with age raising the question of whether the lack of GRP78 could be a predisposing factor for many neurodegenerative disorders associated with age including PD, Alzheimer and Age-related macular degeneration. Attempts to induce or upregulate GRP78 in animal models of neurodegeneration have recently been made with the help of pharmacological BiP protein Inducer X (BIX) and GRP78 cDNA delivery via adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors. The results of these studies validate GRP78 as a new therapeutic target for treatments of forebrain ischemia, Parkinson disease and retinal degeneration. These data, together with the results from age-related studies, highlight the importance for developing drugs to induce elevation of endogenous GRP78 in order to increase cellular survival and extend functional longevity.
doi:10.4172/2157-7412.1000128
PMCID: PMC3674964  PMID: 23750325
Molecular chaperone GRP78/BiP; Neurodegenerative disorders
16.  Transcription Inhibition of Heat Shock Proteins: A Strategy for Combination of 17-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin and Actinomycin D 
Cancer research  2009;69(9):3947-3954.
The heat shock protein (HSP) 90 inhibitor 17-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin (17-AAG) is currently in clinical trials because of its unique mechanism of action and antitumor activity. However, 17-AAG triggers the transcription and elevation of antiapoptotic HSP90, HSP70, and HSP27, which lead to chemoresistance in tumor cells. We hypothesized that inhibiting HSP90, HSP70, and HSP27 transcription may enhance 17-AAG-induced cell death in multiple myeloma (MM) cell lines. Actinomycin D (Act D), a clinically used agent and transcription inhibitor, was combined with 17-AAG. The concentrations for 17-AAG and Act D were selected based on the target actions and plasma levels during therapy. Inducible and constitutive HSP27, HSP70, and HSP90 mRNA and protein levels were measured by real-time RT-PCR and immunoblot assays. Compared to no treatment, Act D alone decreased HSP mRNA levels in the MM.1S and RPMI-8226 cell lines. Combining of Act D with 17-AAG did not attenuate 17-AAG-mediated increases in transcript levels of inducible HSP70; however, constitutive HSP mRNA levels were decreased. In contrast to its effect on mRNA levels, Act D was able to abrogate 17-AAG-mediated increases in all HSP protein levels. The cytotoxicity of combined Act D and 17-AAG was assessed. Treatment with Act D alone caused less than 40% cell death, while the combination of 17-AAG and Act D resulted in an increase of cell death in both MM cell lines. In conclusion, these results indicate that 17-AAG-mediated induction of HSP70 and HSP27 expression can be attenuated by Act D and therefore can potentially improve the clinical treatment of MM.
doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-08-4406
PMCID: PMC2778753  PMID: 19383903
multiple myeloma; 17-AAG; actinomycin D; heat shock proteins; transcription
17.  A Mortalin/HSPA9-Mediated Switch in Tumor-Suppressive Signaling of Raf/MEK/Extracellular Signal-Regulated Kinase 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2013;33(20):4051-4067.
Dysregulated Raf/MEK/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling, a common hallmark of tumorigenesis, can trigger innate tumor-suppressive mechanisms, which must be inactivated for carcinogenesis to occur. This innate tumor-suppressive signaling may provide a potential therapeutic target. Here we report that mortalin (HSPA9/GRP75/PBP74) is a novel negative regulator of Raf/MEK/ERK and may provide a target for the reactivation of tumor-suppressive signaling of the pathway in cancer. We found that mortalin is present in the MEK1/MEK2 proteome and is upregulated in human melanoma biopsy specimens. In different MEK/ERK-activated cancer cell lines, mortalin depletion induced cell death and growth arrest, which was accompanied by increased p21CIP1 transcription and MEK/ERK activity. Remarkably, MEK/ERK activity was necessary for mortalin depletion to induce p21CIP1 expression in B-RafV600E-transformed cancer cells regardless of their p53 status. In contrast, in cell types exhibiting normal MEK/ERK status, mortalin overexpression suppressed B-RafV600E- or ΔRaf-1:ER-induced MEK/ERK activation, p21CIP1 expression, and cell cycle arrest. Other HSP70 family chaperones could not effectively replace mortalin for p21CIP1 regulation, suggesting a unique role for mortalin. These findings reveal a novel mechanism underlying p21CIP1 regulation in MEK/ERK-activated cancer and identify mortalin as a molecular switch that mediates the tumor-suppressive versus oncogenic result of dysregulated Raf/MEK/ERK signaling. Our study also demonstrates that p21CIP1 has dual effects under mortalin-depleted conditions, i.e., mediating cell cycle arrest while limiting cell death.
doi:10.1128/MCB.00021-13
PMCID: PMC3811686  PMID: 23959801
18.  Human Cytomegalovirus Specifically Controls the Levels of the Endoplasmic Reticulum Chaperone BiP/GRP78, Which Is Required for Virion Assembly▿  
Journal of Virology  2007;82(1):31-39.
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) chaperone BiP/GRP78 regulates ER function and the unfolded protein response (UPR). Human cytomegalovirus infection of human fibroblasts induces the UPR but modifies it to benefit viral replication. BiP/GRP78 protein levels are tightly regulated during infection, rising after 36 h postinfection (hpi), peaking at 60 hpi, and decreasing thereafter. To determine the effects of this regulation on viral replication, BiP/GRP78 was depleted using the SubAB subtilase cytotoxin, which rapidly and specifically cleaves BiP/GRP78. Toxin treatment of infected cells for 12-h periods beginning at 36, 48, 60, and 84 hpi caused complete loss of BiP but had little effect on viral protein synthesis. However, progeny virion formation was significantly inhibited, suggesting that BiP/GRP78 is important for virion formation. Electron microscopic analysis showed that infected cells were resistant to the toxin and showed none of the cytotoxic effects seen in uninfected cells. However, all viral activity in the cytoplasm ceased, with nucleocapsids remaining in the nucleus or concentrated in the cytoplasmic space just outside of the outer nuclear membrane. These data suggest that one effect of the controlled expression of BiP/GRP78 in infected cells is to aid in cytoplasmic virion assembly and egress.
doi:10.1128/JVI.01881-07
PMCID: PMC2224369  PMID: 17942541
19.  Induction of unfolded protein response during neuronal induction of rat bone marrow stromal cells and mouse embryonic stem cells 
Experimental & Molecular Medicine  2009;41(6):440-452.
When we treated rat bone marrow stromal cells (rBMSCs) with neuronal differentiation induction media, typical unfolded protein response (UPR) was observed. BIP/GRP78 protein expression was time-dependently increased, and three branches of UPR were all activated. ATF6 increased the transcription of XBP1 which was successfully spliced by IRE1. PERK was phosphorylated and it was followed by eIF2α phosphorylation. Transcription of two downstream targets of eIF2α, ATF4 and CHOP/GADD153, were transiently up-regulated with the peak level at 24 h. Immunocytochemical study showed clear coexpression of BIP and ATF4 with NeuN and Map2, respectively. UPR was also observed during the neuronal differentiation of mouse embryonic stem (mES) cells. Finally, chemical endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress inducers, thapsigargin, tunicamycin, and brefeldin A, dose-dependently increased both mRNA and protein expressions of NF-L, and, its expression was specific to BIP-positive rBMSCs. Our results showing the induction of UPR during neuronal differentiations of rBMSCs and mES cells as well as NF-L expression by ER stress inducers strongly suggest the potential role of UPR in neuronal differentiation.
doi:10.3858/emm.2009.41.6.049
PMCID: PMC2705864  PMID: 19322020
bone marrow; cell differentiation; embryonic stem cells; endoplasmic reticulum; neuron; stem cells; stress, physiological; stromal cells
20.  Activation of MEK1 or MEK2 isoform is sufficient to fully transform intestinal epithelial cells and induce the formation of metastatic tumors 
BMC Cancer  2008;8:337.
Background
The Ras-dependent ERK1/2 MAP kinase signaling pathway plays a central role in cell proliferation control and is frequently activated in human colorectal cancer. Small-molecule inhibitors of MEK1/MEK2 are therefore viewed as attractive drug candidates for the targeted therapy of this malignancy. However, the exact contribution of MEK1 and MEK2 to the pathogenesis of colorectal cancer remains to be established.
Methods
Wild type and constitutively active forms of MEK1 and MEK2 were ectopically expressed by retroviral gene transfer in the normal intestinal epithelial cell line IEC-6. We studied the impact of MEK1 and MEK2 activation on cellular morphology, cell proliferation, survival, migration, invasiveness, and tumorigenesis in mice. RNA interference was used to test the requirement for MEK1 and MEK2 function in maintaining the proliferation of human colorectal cancer cells.
Results
We found that expression of activated MEK1 or MEK2 is sufficient to morphologically transform intestinal epithelial cells, dysregulate cell proliferation and induce the formation of high-grade adenocarcinomas after orthotopic transplantation in mice. A large proportion of these intestinal tumors metastasize to the liver and lung. Mechanistically, activation of MEK1 or MEK2 up-regulates the expression of matrix metalloproteinases, promotes invasiveness and protects cells from undergoing anoikis. Importantly, we show that silencing of MEK2 expression completely suppresses the proliferation of human colon carcinoma cell lines, whereas inactivation of MEK1 has a much weaker effect.
Conclusion
MEK1 and MEK2 isoforms have similar transforming properties and are able to induce the formation of metastatic intestinal tumors in mice. Our results suggest that MEK2 plays a more important role than MEK1 in sustaining the proliferation of human colorectal cancer cells.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-8-337
PMCID: PMC2596176  PMID: 19014680
21.  Mode of cell death induced by the HSP90 inhibitor 17-AAG (tanespimycin) is dependent on the expression of pro-apoptotic BAX 
Oncotarget  2013;4(11):1963-1975.
Inhibitors of the molecular chaperone heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) are of considerable current interest as targeted cancer therapeutic agents because of the ability to destabilize multiple oncogenic client proteins. Despite their resulting pleiotropic effects on multiple oncogenic pathways and hallmark traits of cancer, resistance to HSP90 inhibitors is possible and their ability to induce apoptosis is less than might be expected. Using an isogenic model for BAX knockout in HCT116 human colon carcinoma cells, we demonstrate the induction of BAX-dependent apoptosis at pharmacologically relevant concentrations of the HSP90 inhibitor 17-AAG both in vitro and in tumor xenografts in vivo. Removal of BAX expression by homologous recombination reduces apoptosis in vitro and in vivo but allows a lower level of cell death via a predominantly necrotic mechanism. Despite reducing apoptosis, the loss of BAX does not alter the overall sensitivity to 17-AAG in vitro or in vivo. The results indicate that 17-AAG acts predominantly to cause a cytostatic antiproliferative effect rather than cell death and further suggest that BAX status may not alter the overall clinical response to HSP90 inhibitors. Other agents may be required in combination to enhance tumor-selective killing by these promising drugs. In addition, there are implications for the use of apoptotic endpoints in the assessment of the activity of molecularly targeted agents.
PMCID: PMC3875762  PMID: 24185264
17-AAG; HSP90; BAX; Apoptosis; Colon cancer
22.  The unfolded protein response regulator GRP78/BiP is required for endoplasmic reticulum integrity and stress-induced autophagy in mammalian cells 
Cell death and differentiation  2008;15(9):1460-1471.
In mammalian cells, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress has recently been shown to induce autophagy and the induction requires the unfolded protein response (UPR) signaling pathways. However, little is known whether autophagy regulates UPR pathways and how specific UPR targets might control autophagy. Here, we demonstrated that whereas ER stress-induced autophagy was suppressed by PI3KC3 inhibitor 3-methyladenine (3-MA), wortmannin and knockdown of Beclin1 using siRNA, only 3-MA suppressed UPR activation. We discovered that the UPR regulator and ER chaperone GRP78/BiP is required for stress-induced autophagy. In cells where GRP78 expression was knockdown by siRNA, despite spontaneous activation of UPR pathways and LC3 conversion, autophagosome formation induced by ER stress as well as by nutrition starvation was inhibited. GRP78 knockdown did not disrupt PI3KC3-Beclin1 association. However, electron microscopic analysis of the intracellular organelle structure reveals that the ER, a putative membrane source for generating autophagosomal double membrane, was massively expanded and disorganized in cells where GRP78 was knockdown. ER expansion is known to be dependent on the UPR transcription factor XBP-1. Simultaneous knockdown of GRP78 and XBP-1 recovered normal levels of stress-induced autophagosome formation. Thus, these studies uncover 3-MA as an inhibitor of UPR activation and establish GRP78 as a novel obligatory component of autophagy in mammalian cells.
doi:10.1038/cdd.2008.81
PMCID: PMC2758056  PMID: 18551133
autophagy; GRP78; unfolded protein response
23.  P-glycoprotein-mediated resistance to HSP90-directed therapy is eclipsed by the heat shock response 
Cancer research  2008;68(18):7419-7427.
Despite studies that demonstrate the antitumor activity of Hsp90 inhibitors such as geldanamycin (GA) and its derivative 17-allylamino-demethoxygeldanamycin (17-AAG), recent reports indicate that these inhibitors lack significant single-agent clinical activity. Resistance to Hsp90 inhibitors has been previously linked to expression of P-glycoprotein (P-gp), and the multidrug resistant (MDR) phenotype. However, the stress response induced by GA treatment can also cause resistance to Hsp90-targeted therapy. Therefore we chose to further investigate the relative importance of P-gp and the stress response in 17-AAG resistance. Colony forming assays revealed that high expression of P-gp could increase the 17-AAG IC50 6-fold in cells transfected with P-gp as compared with parent cells. A549 cells selected for resistance to GA overexpressed P-gp, but verapamil (VP) did not reverse the resistance. These cells also overexpressed Hsp27, and Hsp70 was induced with 17-AAG treatment. When the GA and 17-AAG resistant cells were transfected with Hsp27 and/or Hsp70 siRNA, the 17-AAG IC50 decreased 10-fold compared to control transfected cells. Transfection with siRNA directed against Hsp27, Hsp70, or Hsp27 and Hsp70 also increased sensitivity to EC78, a purine scaffold-based Hsp90 inhibitor that is not a P-gp substrate. We conclude that P-gp may contribute, in part, to resistance to 17-AAG, but induction of stress response proteins such as Hsp27 and Hsp70 by Hsp90-targeted therapy plays a larger role. Taken together, our results indicate that targeting of Hsp27 and Hsp70 should be exploited to increase the clinical efficacy of Hsp90-directed therapy.
doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-07-5175
PMCID: PMC2695926  PMID: 18794130
17-AAG; Geldanamycin; P-glycoprotein; Hsp90; Hsp27
24.  Vip-Grafted Sterically Stabilized Phospholipid Nanomicellar 17-Allylamino-17-Demethoxy Geldanamycin: A Novel Targeted Nanomedicine for Breast Cancer 
International journal of pharmaceutics  2008;365(1-2):157-161.
17-Allylamino-17-demethoxy geldanamycin (17-AAG), an inhibitor of heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) function, is being developed as antitumor drug in patients with breast cancer. However, water-insolubility and hepatotoxicity limit its use. The purpose of this study was to begin to address these issues by determining whether 17-AAG can be formulated in long-circulating (PEGylated), biocompatible and biodegradable sterically stabilized phospholipid nanomicelles (SSM) to which vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) was grafted as an active targeting moiety and, if so, whether these nanomicelles are cytotoxic to MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. We found that particle size of 17-AAG loaded in VIP surface-grafted SSM was 16±1 nm and drug content was 97±2% (300 μg/ml). Cytotoxicity of 17-AAG loaded in VIP surface-grafted SSM to MCF-7 cells was significantly higher than that of 17-AAG loaded in non-targeted SSM (p<0.05) and similar to that of 17-AAG dissolved in dimethylsulfoxide. Collectively, these data demonstrate that 17-AAG is solubilized at therapeutically relevant concentrations in actively targeted VIP surface-grafted SSM. Cytotoxicity of these nanomicelles to MCF-7 cells is retained implying high affinity VIP receptors overexpressed on these cells mediate, in part, their intracellular uptake thereby amplifying drug potency. We propose that 17-AAG loaded in VIP surface-grafted SSM should be further developed as an actively targeted nanomedicine for breast cancer.
doi:10.1016/j.ijpharm.2008.08.024
PMCID: PMC2631986  PMID: 18793708
nanomedicine; cancer; MCF-7 cells; chemotherapy; water-insoluble drugs; 17-AAG; Hsp90; targeting; DSPE-PEG2000
25.  The Molecular Chaperone GRP78/BiP in the Development of Chemoresistance: Mechanism and Possible Treatment 
Treatment of several types of cancer such as lung, breast, prostate, and pancreas has shown notable progresses in the past decades. However, after an initial response, tumors eventually became resistant to chemotherapy. This phenomenon, known as chemoresistance, accounts for the death of most cancer patients. Several studies in patients refractory to therapy have revealed the upregulation of the molecular chaperone GRP78/Binding Protein, BiP (BiP) both at the RNA and protein expression level. Furthermore GRP78/BiP relocates to the cell membrane in malignant but not in benign cells. In this communication we review studies on the role and the mechanism of action of GRP78/BiP during development of chemoresistance in cancer cells. In addition we discuss the possible role of GRP78 as a biomarker and as a target in cancer therapy.
doi:10.3389/fphar.2013.00010
PMCID: PMC3568707  PMID: 23403503
cell stress; chaperone; unfolded protein response; drug resistance; therapy

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