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Nat Med. 2005 Oct;11(10):1088-95. Epub 2005 Sep 11.

17-AAG, an Hsp90 inhibitor, ameliorates polyglutamine-mediated motor neuron degeneration.

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Department of Neurology, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, 65 Tsurumai-cho, Showa-ku, Nagoya 466-8550, Japan.


Heat-shock protein 90 (Hsp90) functions as part of a multichaperone complex that folds, activates and assembles its client proteins. Androgen receptor (AR), a pathogenic gene product in spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), is one of the Hsp90 client proteins. We examined the therapeutic effects of 17-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin (17-AAG), a potent Hsp90 inhibitor, and its ability to degrade polyglutamine-expanded mutant AR. Administration of 17-AAG markedly ameliorated motor impairments in the SBMA transgenic mouse model without detectable toxicity, by reducing amounts of monomeric and aggregated mutant AR. The mutant AR showed a higher affinity for Hsp90-p23 and preferentially formed an Hsp90 chaperone complex as compared to wild-type AR; mutant AR was preferentially degraded in the presence of 17-AAG in both cells and transgenic mice as compared to wild-type AR. 17-AAG also mildly induced Hsp70 and Hsp40. 17-AAG would thus provide a new therapeutic approach to SBMA and probably to other related neurodegenerative diseases.

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