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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2009 Dec 18;390(3):925-30. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2009.10.079. Epub 2009 Oct 21.

Identification of small-molecule HSF1 amplifiers by high content screening in protection of cells from stress induced injury.

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  • 1Department of Biology, CytRx Corporation, San Diego, CA 92109, USA.


Small molecule amplifiers of heat shock response have shown promising results in rescuing stress related injury through chaperone amplification. Herein, we report the results of a high content target-based primary screening of several known bioactive libraries. Screening resulted in the identification of three potent gedunin derivatives and a sappanone A derivative. Western blot results confirmed compound-induced activation of HSF1 and increased expression level of HSP70. These compounds rescued cells from cell death caused by proteasome inhibitor MG-132 and RNAi knockdown of HSF1 significantly reversed the cytoprotective effects, confirming an HSF1-dependent mechanism of action. These HSF1 amplifiers were tested in two mammalian cell based models of Huntington's disease (HD) and found to improve survival. Therefore, these screening hits may have therapeutic potential for HD and possibly other protein conformational disorders.

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