Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

17-Allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin induces downregulation of critical Hsp90 protein clients and results in cell cycle arrest and apoptosis of human urinary bladder cancer cells

Panagiotis K Karkoulis1, Dimitrios J Stravopodis2, Lukas H Margaritis2 and Gerassimos E Voutsinas13*

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratory of Environmental Mutagenesis and Carcinogenesis, Institute of Biology, National Center for Scientific Research (NCSR) "Demokritos", 15310 Athens, Greece

2 Department of Cell Biology and Biophysics, Faculty of Biology, University of Athens, Panepistimiopolis, Zografou, 15784 Athens, Greece

3 Institute of Biology, NCSR "Demokritos", 15310 Athens, Greece

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BMC Cancer 2010, 10:481  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-10-481

Published: 9 September 2010



17-Allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin (17-AAG), a benzoquinone ansamycin antibiotic, specifically targets heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) and interferes with its function as a molecular chaperone that maintains the structural and functional integrity of various protein clients involved in cellular signaling. In this study, we have investigated the effect of 17-AAG on the regulation of Hsp90-dependent signaling pathways directly implicated in cell cycle progression, survival and motility of human urinary bladder cancer cell lines.


We have used MTT-based assays, FACS analysis, Western blotting, semi-quantitative RT-PCR, immunocytochemistry and scratch-wound assay in RT4, RT112 and T24 human urinary bladder cancer cell lines.


We have demonstrated that, upon 17-AAG treatment, bladder cancer cells are arrested in the G1 phase of the cell cycle and eventually undergo apoptotic cell death in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, 17-AAG administration was shown to induce a pronounced downregulation of multiple Hsp90 protein clients and other downstream effectors, such as IGF-IR, Akt, IKK-α, IKK-β, FOXO1, ERK1/2 and c-Met, resulting in sequestration-mediated inactivation of NF-κB, reduced cell proliferation and decline of cell motility.


In total, we have clearly evinced a dose-dependent and cell type-specific effect of 17-AAG on cell cycle progression, survival and motility of human bladder cancer cells, due to downregulation of multiple Hsp90 clients and subsequent disruption of signaling integrity.