The Hsp90 chaperone is required for the activation of several families of eukaryotic protein kinases and nuclear hormone receptors, many of which are protooncogenic and play a prominent role in cancer. The geldanamycin antibiotic has antiproliferative and antitumor effects, as it binds to Hsp90, inhibits the Hsp90-mediated conformational maturation/refolding reaction, and results in the degradation of Hsp90 substrates. The structure of the geldanamycin-binding domain of Hsp90 (residues 9-232) reveals a pronounced pocket, 15 A deep, that is highly conserved across species. Geldanamycin binds inside this pocket, adopting a compact structure similar to that of a polypeptide chain in a turn conformation. This, and the pocket's similarity to substrate-binding sites, suggest that the pocket binds a portion of the polypeptide substrate and participates in the conformational maturation/refolding reaction.