The natural compound deguelin has promising preventive and therapeutic activity against diverse cancers by directly binding to heat shock protein-90 and thus suppressing its function. Potential side effects of deguelin over a certain dose, however, could be a substantial obstacle to its clinical use. To develop a derivative(s) of deguelin with reduced potential side effects, we synthesized five deguelin analogues (SH-02, SH-03, SH-09, SH-14, and SH-15) and compared them with the parent compound and each other for structural and biochemical features; solubility; and antiproliferative effects on normal, premalignant, and malignant human bronchial epithelial (HBE) and non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines. Four derivatives destabilized hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha as potently as did deguelin. Reverse-phase protein array (RPPA) analysis in H460 NSCLC cells revealed that deguelin and the derivatives suppressed expression of a number of proteins including heat shock protein-90 clients and proteins involved in the phosphoinositide 3-kinase/Akt pathway. One derivative, SH-14, showed several features of potential superiority for clinical use: the highest apoptotic activity; no detectable influence on Src/signal transducer and activator of transcription signaling, which can promote cancer progression and is closely related to pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (deguelin, SH-02 and SH-03 strongly activated this signaling); better aqueous solubility; and less cytotoxicity to immortalized HBE cells (versus deguelin) at a dose (1 micromol/L) that induced apoptotic activity in most premalignant and malignant HBE and NSCLC cell lines. These collective results suggest that the novel derivative SH-14 has strong potential for cancer chemoprevention and therapy, with equivalent efficacy and lesser toxicity (versus deguelin).