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Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2011;75(8):1540-5. Epub 2011 Aug 7.

SNX-2112, a novel Hsp90 inhibitor, induces G2/M cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in MCF-7 cells.

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Guangzhoujinan Biomedicine Research and Development Center, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Bioengineering Medicine, National Engineering Research Center for Genetic Medicine, Jinan University, West Huangpu Road, Guangzhou, China.


SNX-2112 is a heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) inhibitor with anticancer properties currently in clinical trials. This study investigated the effects of SNX-2112 on inhibition of cell growth, the cell cycle, and apoptosis in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells, in addition to the various molecular mechanisms. The results of 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay and flow cytometric analysis suggest that SNX-2112 inhibits cell growth in a time- and dose-dependent manner more potently than 17-(allylamino)-17-demethoxygeldanmycin (17-AAG), a traditional Hsp90 inhibitor, probably as a result of cell-cycle arrest at the G2/M phase and the induction of apoptosis. Downregulation of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL, upregulation of Bax, cleavage of caspase-9 and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP), and degradation of the breast cancer-related Hsp90 client proteins human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2), Akt, Raf-1, and nuclear factor kappa-B kinase (IKK) were observed in SNX-2112 treated cells by Western blot assay. These findings suggest that the molecular mechanisms of cell-growth inhibition by SNX-2112 involve activation of the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway and the degradation of breast cancer-related proteins.

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