Synthetic small interfering RNA targeting heat shock protein 105 induces apoptosis of various cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo

Cancer Sci. 2006 Jul;97(7):623-32. doi: 10.1111/j.1349-7006.2006.00217.x.


We previously reported that heat shock protein 105 (HSP105), identified by serological analysis of a recombinant cDNA expression library (SEREX) using serum from a pancreatic cancer patient, was overexpressed in various human tumors and in the testis of adult men by immunohistochemical analysis. In the present study, to elucidate the biological function of the HSP105 protein in cancer cells, we first established NIH3T3 cells overexpressing murine HSP105 (NIH3T3-HSP105). The NIH3T3-HSP105 cells acquired resistance to apoptosis induced by heat shock or doxorubicin. The small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated suppression of HSP105 protein expression induced apoptosis in human cancer cells but not in fibroblasts. By a combination of siRNA introduction and doxorubicin or heat shock treatment, apoptosis was induced synergistically in a human colon cancer cell line, HCT116. In vivo, siRNA inoculation into the human gastric cancer cell line KATO-3 established in the flank of an NOD SCID mouse suppressed the tumor growth. This siRNA-induced apoptosis was mediated through caspases, but not the p53 tumor suppressor protein, even though the HSP105 protein was bound to wild-type p53 protein in HCT116 cells. These findings suggest that the constitutive overexpression of HSP105 in cancer cells is involved in malignant transformation by protecting tumor cells from apoptosis. HSP105 may thus be a novel target molecule for cancer therapy and a treatment regimen using synthetic siRNA to suppress the expression of HSP105 protein may provide a new strategy for cancer therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / genetics*
  • Caspase Inhibitors
  • Caspases / genetics
  • Caspases / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Doxorubicin / pharmacology
  • Drug Synergism
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects
  • HSP110 Heat-Shock Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • HSP110 Heat-Shock Proteins / genetics*
  • Hot Temperature
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • NIH 3T3 Cells
  • Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • RNA, Small Interfering / genetics
  • RNA, Small Interfering / pharmacology
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism


  • Caspase Inhibitors
  • HSP110 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Hsp105 protein, mouse
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Doxorubicin
  • Caspases