Bimoclomol: a nontoxic, hydroxylamine derivative with stress protein-inducing activity and cytoprotective effects

Nat Med. 1997 Oct;3(10):1150-4. doi: 10.1038/nm1097-1150.


Preservation of the chemical architecture of a cell or of an organism under changing and perhaps stressful conditions is termed homeostasis. An integral feature of homeostasis is the rapid expression of genes whose products are specifically dedicated to protect cellular functions against stress. One of the best known mechanisms protecting cells from various stresses is the heat-shock response which results in the induction of the synthesis of heat-shock proteins (HSPs or stress proteins). A large body of information supports that stress proteins--many of them molecular chaperones--are crucial for the maintenance of cell integrity during normal growth as well as during pathophysiological conditions, and thus can be considered "homeostatic proteins." Recently emphasis is being placed on the potential use of these proteins in preventing and/or treating diseases. Therefore, it would be of great therapeutic benefit to discover compounds that are clinically safe yet able to induce the accumulation of HSPs in patients with chronic disorders such as diabetes mellitus, heart disease or kidney failure. Here we show that a novel cytoprotective hydroxylamine derivative, [2-hydroxy-3-(1-piperidinyl) propoxy]-3-pyridinecarboximidoil-chloride maleate, Bimoclomol, facilitates the formation of chaperone molecules in eukaryotic cells by inducing or amplifying expression of heat-shock genes. The cytoprotective effects observed under several experimental conditions, including a murine model of ischemia and wound healing in the diabetic rat, are likely mediated by the coordinate expression of all major HSPs. This nontoxic drug, which is under Phase II clinical trials, has enormous potential therapeutic applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Survival / drug effects*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / physiopathology
  • Embryo, Mammalian
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins / genetics
  • HeLa Cells
  • Heart / drug effects*
  • Heart / physiology
  • Heart / physiopathology
  • Heat Stress Disorders
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Humans
  • Imides / pharmacology*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Luciferases / biosynthesis
  • Male
  • Myocardial Ischemia / metabolism*
  • Myocardium / metabolism*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Pyridines / pharmacology*
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Skin / drug effects
  • Skin / pathology
  • Transcription, Genetic / drug effects*
  • Transfection
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*


  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Imides
  • Pyridines
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • bimoclomol
  • Luciferases