Both geldanamycin (GA) and radicicol (RA) are HSP90 binding agents that possess antitumour activities. Although the in vitro data indicated that the inhibitory constant of RA is much bigger than that of GA, the in vivo data on drug efficacy might reveal different results. We have recently shown that treatment with GA induces a heat-shock response and that calcium mobilization may be involved in the process. By using induction of HSP70 as the endpoint assay, we found changes in upstream signaling mediators, including HSF1 and calcium mobilization, as well as possible involvement of protein kinase in human non-small cell lung cancer H460 cells treated with GA and RA. Our results demonstrated that calcium mobilization, a calcium dependent and H7-sensitive protein kinase, along with HSF1 activation by phosphorylation, are all involved in the HSP70 induction process triggered by the drugs. However, only GA, but not RA, can provoke a rapid calcium mobilization and thereby result in an instant induction of HSP70. Furthermore, the rapid calcium influx, followed by instant HSP induction, could be achieved in GA- or RA-treated cells placed in a medium containing excessive calcium while the response was completely abolished in cells depleted of calcium. Taken together, our findings suggest that differential calcium signaling may account for the differential induction of HSP and the action of GA and RA.
(c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.