Geldanamycin as a potential anti-cancer agent: its molecular target and biochemical activity

Invest New Drugs. 1999;17(4):361-73. doi: 10.1023/a:1006382320697.


Heat shock protein 90 is one of the most abundant cellular proteins. Although its functions are still being characterized, it appears to serve as a chaperone for a growing list of cell signaling proteins, including many tyrosine and serine/threonine kinases, involved in proliferation and/or survival. The benzoquinone ansamycin geldanamycin has been shown to bind to Hsp90 and to specifically inhibit this chaperone's function, resulting in client protein destabilization. Its ability to simultaneously stimulate depletion of multiple oncogenic proteins suggests that geldanamycin, or other molecules capable of targeting Hsp90 in cancer cells, may be of clinical benefit.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / metabolism
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / pharmacology*
  • Benzoquinones
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins / metabolism
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Lactams, Macrocyclic
  • Quinones / metabolism
  • Quinones / pharmacology*


  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Benzoquinones
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Lactams, Macrocyclic
  • Quinones
  • geldanamycin