A novel C-terminal HSP90 inhibitor KU135 induces apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in melanoma cells

Abbas K. Samadi, Xuan Zhang, Ridhwi Mukerji, Alison C. Donnelly, Brian S. Blagg, Mark S. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) is differentially expressed in tumor cells including melanoma and involved in proper folding, stabilization and regulation of cellular proteins. We investigated a novobiocin-derived Hsp90 C-terminal inhibitor, KU135, for anti-proliferative effects in melanoma cells. The results indicate that KU135 reduced cell viability and cell proliferation in melanoma cells and IC 50 values for A735(DRO), M14(NPA), B16F10 and SKMEL28 cells were 0.82, 0.92, 1.33 and 1.30μM respectively. KU135 induced a more potent anti-proliferative effect in most melanoma cells versus N-terminal Hsp90 inhibitor 17AAG. KU135 induced apoptosis in melanoma cells, as indicated by annexin V/PI staining, reduction in the mitochondrial membrane potential, mitochondrial cytochrome C release and caspase 3 activation. KU135 reduced levels of Hsp90 client proteins Akt, BRAF, RAF-1, cyclin B and cdc25. Additionally, levels of Hsp90 and Hsp70 did not increase, while the levels of phosphorylated HSF1 levels decreased. KU135 induced strong G2/M cell cycle arrest, associated with decreased expression of cdc25c, cyclin B and increased phosphorylation of cdc25c. These finding show that KU135 reduced cell survival, proliferation, and induces apoptosis in melanoma cells. We suggest that KU135 may be a potential candidate for cancer therapy against melanoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-167
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 22 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • C-terminal
  • Hsp90 inhibitor
  • Melanoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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