A Modified HSP70 Inhibitor Shows Broad Activity as an Anticancer Agent

The Wistar Institute.
Molecular Cancer Research (Impact Factor: 4.38). 01/2013; 11(3). DOI: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-12-0547-T
Source: PubMed


The stress-induced heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) is an ATP-dependent molecular chaperone that plays a key role in refolding misfolded proteins and promoting cell survival following stress. HSP70 is marginally expressed in non-transformed cells, but is greatly overexpressed in tumor cells. Silencing HSP70 is uniformly cytotoxic to tumor but not normal cells; therefore, there has been great interest in the development of HSP70 inhibitors for cancer therapy. Here we report that the HSP70 inhibitor 2-phenylethynesulfonamide (PES) binds to the substrate-binding domain of HSP70, and requires the C-terminal helical 'lid' of this protein (amino acids 573-616) in order to bind. Using molecular modeling and in silico docking, we have identified a candidate binding site for PES in this region of HSP70, and we identify point mutants that fail to interact with PES. A preliminary structure-activity relationship analysis has revealed a derivative of PES, 2-(3-chlorophenyl) ethynesulfonamide (PES-Cl), which shows increased cytotoxicity and ability to inhibit autophagy, along with significantly improved ability to extend the life of mice with pre-B cell lymphoma, compared to the parent compound (p=0.015). Interestingly, we also show that these HSP70 inhibitors impair the activity of the Anaphase Promoting Complex/Cyclosome (APC/C) in cell-free extracts, and induce G2/M arrest and genomic instability in cancer cells. PES-Cl is thus a promising new anti-cancer compound with several notable mechanisms of action.

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Available from: Roland Dunbrack, Mar 10, 2014
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    • "Isolation of novel chaperone interacting proteins may allow us to understand how chaperones function to fold, stabilize and even degrade proteins under stress conditions. Many clients of Hsp70 and Hsp90 can be destabilized by inhibition of chaperone function, often through binding of small molecules [10] [32] [33]. If these clients are current or potential cancer drug targets, then inhibitors of chaperones may sensitize cancer cells to inhibitors of these clients. "
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    ABSTRACT: The highly conserved molecular chaperones Hsp90 and Hsp70 are indispensible for folding and maturation of a significant fraction of the proteome, including many proteins involved in signal transduction and stress response. To examine the dynamics of chaperone-client interactions after DNA damage, we applied quantitative affinity-purification mass spectrometry (AP-MS) proteomics to characterize interactomes of the yeast Hsp70 isoform Ssa1 and Hsp90 isoform Hsp82 before and after exposure to methyl methanesulfonate. Of 256 proteins identified and quantified via (16)O(/18)O labeling and LC-MS/MS, 142 are novel Hsp70/90 interactors. Nearly all interactions remained unchanged or decreased after DNA damage, but 5 proteins increased interactions with Ssa1 and/or Hsp82, including the ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) subunit Rnr4. Inhibiting Hsp70 or 90 chaperone activity destabilized Rnr4 in yeast and its vertebrate homolog hRMM2 in breast cancer cells. In turn, pre-treatment of cancer cells with chaperone inhibitors sensitized cells to the RNR inhibitor gemcitabine, suggesting a novel chemotherapy strategy. All MS data have been deposited in the ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD001284. This study provides the dynamic interactome of the yeast Hsp70 and Hsp90 under DNA damage which suggest key roles for the chaperones in a variety of signaling cascades. Importantly, the cancer drug target ribonucleotide reductase was shown to be a client of Hsp70 and Hsp90 in both yeast and breast cancer cells. As such, this study highlights the potential of a novel cancer therapeutic strategy that exploits the synergy of chaperone and ribonucleotide reductase inhibitors. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Proteomics 10/2014; 112C:285-300. DOI:10.1016/j.jprot.2014.09.028 · 3.89 Impact Factor
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    • "The second site (labeled B in Fig. 5) is distinct from the NRLLLTG-binding cleft and is supported by loops Lα,β, L2,3, L6,7 and LL,1; a similar hydrophobic binding site has been reported by Cellitti et al. (2009) [68]. A third site (labeled C in Fig. 5) is located in the helix bundle region, which is more covert and has been investigated recently [75]. Given the importance of these predicted hydrophobic pockets in orchestrating the crosstalk among the NBD, SBDβ and SBDα domains, and the interaction between the SBD domain and other co-chaperones, it is anticipated that small molecule inhibitors or inhibitory peptides that preferentially interact with one or more of these sites might negatively impact HSP70-clients interactions. "
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    ABSTRACT: The HSP70 family of molecular chaperones function to maintain protein quality control and homeostasis. The major stress-induced form, HSP70 (also called HSP72 or HSPA1A) is considered an important anti-cancer drug target because it is constitutively overexpressed in a number of human cancers and promotes cancer cell survival. All HSP70 family members contain two functional domains: an N-terminal nucleotide binding domain (NBD) and a C-terminal protein substrate-binding domain (SBD); the latter is subdivided into SBDα and SBDβ subdomains. The NBD and SBD structures of the bacterial ortholog, DnaK, have been characterized, but only the isolated NBD and SBDα segments of eukaryotic HSP70 proteins have been determined. Here we report the crystal structure of the substrate-bound human HSP70-SBD to 2 angstrom resolution. The overall fold of this SBD is similar to the corresponding domain in the substrate-bound DnaK structures, confirming a similar overall architecture of the orthologous bacterial and human HSP70 proteins. However, conformational differences are observed in the peptide-HSP70-SBD complex, particularly in the loop Lα, β that bridges SBDα to SBDβ, and the loop LL,1 that connects the SBD and NBD. The interaction between the SBDα and SBDβ subdomains and the mode of substrate recognition is also different between DnaK and HSP70. This suggests that differences may exist in how different HSP70 proteins recognize their respective substrates. The high-resolution structure of the substrate-bound-HSP70-SBD complex provides a molecular platform for the rational design of small molecule compounds that preferentially target this C-terminal domain, in order to modulate human HSP70 function.
    PLoS ONE 07/2014; 9(7):e103518. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0103518 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "With regard to cell growth arrest, the combination therapy decreased the S-phase fraction and increased the G2/M-phase fraction in three cancer cell lines (Fig. 5A). These results are consistent with those from a recent report showing that PFT-μ can induce G2/M arrest in cancer cells [35]. Additionally, the combination therapy decreased the expression of c-Myc in LNCaP and cyclin D1 in PC-3 and DU-145, and increased the expression of p21WAF1/Cip in three cell lines. "
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    ABSTRACT: Hyperthermia (HT) improves the efficacy of anti-cancer radiotherapy and chemotherapy. However, HT also inevitably evokes stress responses and increases the expression of heat-shock proteins (HSPs) in cancer cells. Among the HSPs, HSP70 is known as a pro-survival protein. In this study, we investigated the sensitizing effect of pifithrin (PFT)-μ, a small molecule inhibitor of HSP70, when three human prostate cancer cell lines (LNCaP, PC-3, and DU-145) were treated with HT (43°C for 2 h). All cell lines constitutively expressed HSP70, and HT further increased its expression in LNCaP and DU-145. Knockdown of HSP70 with RNA interference decreased the viability and colony-forming ability of cancer cells. PFT-μ decreased the viabilities of all cell lines at one-tenth the dose of Quercetin, a well-known HSP inhibitor. The combination therapy with suboptimal doses of PFT-μ and HT decreased the viability of cancer cells most effectively when PFT-μ was added immediately before HT, and this combination effect was abolished by pre-knockdown of HSP70, suggesting that the effect was mediated via HSP70 inhibition. The combination therapy induced cell death, partially caspase-dependent, and decreased proliferating cancer cells, with decreased expression of c-Myc and cyclin D1 and increased expression of p21(WAF1/Cip), indicating arrest of cell growth. Additionally, the combination therapy significantly decreased the colony-forming ability of cancer cells compared to therapy with either alone. Furthermore, in a xenograft mouse model, the combination therapy significantly inhibited PC-3 tumor growth. These findings suggest that PFT-μ can effectively enhance HT-induced antitumor effects via HSP70 inhibition by inducing cell death and arrest of cell growth, and that PFT-μ is a promising agent for use in combination with HT to treat prostate cancer.
    PLoS ONE 11/2013; 8(11):e78772. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0078772 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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