Mechanistic evaluation of the novel HSP90 inhibitor NVP-AUY922 in adult and pediatric glioblastoma

Mol Cancer Ther. 2010 May;9(5):1219-33. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-09-0683.


The dismal prognosis of glioblastoma (GB) indicates the urgent need for new therapies for these tumors. Heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) inhibitors induce the proteasome-mediated degradation of many oncogenic client proteins involved in all of the hallmark characteristics of cancer. Here, we explored the mechanistic potential of the potent synthetic diarylisoxazole amide resorcinol HSP90 inhibitor, NVP-AUY922, in adult and pediatric GB. In vitro antiproliferative potency (nanomolar range) was seen in both adult and pediatric human GB cell lines with different molecular pathologies. A cytostatic effect was observed in all GB lines; more apoptosis was observed at lower concentrations in the SF188 pediatric GB line and at 144 hours in the slower growing KNS42 pediatric GB line, as compared with the adult GB lines U87MG and SF268. In vitro combination studies with inhibitors of phosphoinositide 3-kinase/mammalian target of rapamycin (PI-103) or mitogen-activated protein/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) kinase (PD-0325901) supported the hypothesis that sustained inhibition of ERK up to 72 hours and at least temporary inhibition of AKT were necessary to induce apoptosis in GB lines. In athymic mice bearing established s.c U87MG GB xenografts, NVP-AUY922 (50 mg/kg i.p x 3 days) caused the inhibition of ERK1/2 and AKT phosphorylation and induced apoptosis, whereas 17-AAG used at maximum tolerated dose was less effective. NVP-AUY922 antitumor activity with objective tumor regression resulted from antiproliferative, proapoptotic, and antiangiogenic effects, the latter shown by decreased microvessel density and HIF1alpha levels. Our results have established a mechanistic proof of concept for the potential of novel synthetic HSP90 inhibitors in adult and pediatric GB, alone or in combination with phosphoinositide 3-kinase/mammalian target of rapamycin and mitogen-activated protein/ERK kinase inhibitors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Brain Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Child
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Glioblastoma / drug therapy*
  • Glioblastoma / pathology
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Humans
  • Isoxazoles / adverse effects
  • Isoxazoles / pharmacology*
  • Isoxazoles / therapeutic use*
  • Maximum Tolerated Dose
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Resorcinols / adverse effects
  • Resorcinols / pharmacology*
  • Resorcinols / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • 5-(2,4-dihydroxy-5-isopropylphenyl)-4-(4-morpholin-4-ylmethylphenyl)isoxazole-3-carboxylic acid ethylamide
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Isoxazoles
  • Resorcinols