The geldanamycin analogue 17-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin inhibits the growth of GL261 glioma cells in vitro and in vivo

Anticancer Drugs. 2007 Sep;18(8):875-82. doi: 10.1097/CAD.0b013e3281430df8.


Geldanamycin is a naturally occurring benzoquinone ansamycin product of Streptomyces geldanus that binds the protein chaperone heat shock protein 90. As geldanamycin binds to heat shock protein 90 interfering with its function and heat shock protein 90 is overexpressed in many cancers, heat shock protein 90 has become a target for cancer therapy. As the geldanamycin analogue 17-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin has a favorable toxicity profile, it is being tested extensively in clinical trials in patients with advanced cancer. In this study, GL261 glioma cells from C57BL/6 mice were used to investigate the anti-tumor effect of 17-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin both in vitro and in vivo. Heat shock protein 90 inhibitors possess potent anti-proliferative activity, usually at low nanomolar ranges, owing to their pharmacological characteristics of binding tightly to heat shock protein 90, coupled with a slow dissociation rate. We found that 17-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin at doses as low as 200 nmol/l showed anti-tumor activity within 24 h of treatment. Treatment with 17-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin arrested GL261 cells in the G2 phase of the cell cycle associated with the downregulation of cyclin B1. Low doses of 17-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin significantly inhibited migration of GL261 cells within 16 h of treatment, concomitant with the downregulation of phosphorylated focal adhesion kinase and matrix metalloproteinase 2 secretion. Using an orthotopic glioma model with well-established intracranial tumors, 3 weekly cycles of 17-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin significantly reduced tumor volumes of treated animals compared with untreated controls (P=0.002). Given these promising results, clinical testing of 17-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin or other novel heat shock protein 90 inhibitors being developed should be considered for glioma patients whose tumors remain refractory to most current treatment regimens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / pharmacology*
  • Benzoquinones / pharmacology*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Brain Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Flow Cytometry
  • G2 Phase / drug effects
  • Gelatin
  • Glioma / drug therapy*
  • Glioma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Lactams, Macrocyclic / pharmacology*
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2 / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL


  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Benzoquinones
  • Lactams, Macrocyclic
  • tanespimycin
  • Gelatin
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2
  • geldanamycin