Development of radicicol analogues

Curr Cancer Drug Targets. 2003 Oct;3(5):359-69. doi: 10.2174/1568009033481859.


Radicicol, a macrocyclic antibiotic produced by fungi, was originally isolated many years ago, and was described as tyrosine kinase inhibitor. We also rediscovered radicicol as an inhibitor of signal transduction of oncogene products, such as K-ras and v-Src, using yeast and mammalian cell-based assays. In a study of mechanisms of action, it was revealed that radicicol depletes the Hsp90 client signaling molecules in cells, and thus inhibit the signal transduction pathway. In addition, direct binding of radicicol to the N-terminal ATP/ADP binding site of Hsp90 was shown, and thus radicicol has been recognized as a structurally unique antibiotic that binds and inhibits the molecular chaperone Hsp90. Although radicicol itself has little or no activity in animals because of instability in animals, its oxime derivatives showed potent antitumor activities against human tumor xenograft models. Hsp90 client proteins were depleted and apoptosis was induced in the tumor specimen treated with radicicol oxime derivatives. Taken together, these results suggest that the antitumor activity of radicicol oxime derivatives is mediated by binding to Hsp90 and destabilization of Hsp90 client proteins in the tumor. Among Hsp90 clients, we focused on ErbB2 and Bcr-Abl as examples of important targets of Hsp90 inhibitors. Radicicol oxime showed potent antitumor activity against ER negative/ErbB2 overexpressing breast cancer and Bcr-Abl expressing CML. Putative mechanisms of action and future directions of radicicol oxime against these kinds of tumor are discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Fusion Proteins, bcr-abl / metabolism
  • Genes, erbB-2 / genetics
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Humans
  • Lactones / chemistry*
  • Lactones / pharmacology*
  • Macrolides
  • Molecular Chaperones / drug effects
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / metabolism


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Lactones
  • Macrolides
  • Molecular Chaperones
  • Fusion Proteins, bcr-abl
  • monorden