Novel Small Molecule Hsp90/Cdc37 Interface Inhibitors Indirectly Target K-Ras-Signaling

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Siddiqui, F.A.; Parkkola, H.; Vukic, V.; Oetken-Lindholm, C.; Jaiswal, A.; Kiriazis, A.; Pavic, K.; Aittokallio, T.; Salminen, T.A.; Abankwa, D. Novel Small Molecule Hsp90/Cdc37 Interface Inhibitors Indirectly Target K-Ras-Signaling. Cancers 2021, 13, 927.

Title: Novel Small Molecule Hsp90/Cdc37 Interface Inhibitors Indirectly Target K-Ras-Signaling
Author: Siddiqui, Farid Ahmad; Parkkola, Hanna; Vukic, Vladimir; Oetken-Lindholm, Christina; Jaiswal, Alok; Kiriazis, Alexandros; Pavic, Karolina; Aittokallio, Tero; Salminen, Tiina A.; Abankwa, Daniel
Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Date: 2021-02-23
Abstract: The ATP-competitive inhibitors of Hsp90 have been tested predominantly in kinase addicted cancers; however, they have had limited success. A mechanistic connection between Hsp90 and oncogenic K-Ras is not known. Here, we show that K-Ras selectivity is enabled by the loss of the K-Ras membrane nanocluster modulator galectin-3 downstream of the Hsp90 client HIF-1α. This mechanism suggests a higher drug sensitivity in the context of KRAS mutant, HIF-1α-high and/or Gal3-high cancer cells, such as those found, in particular, in pancreatic adenocarcinoma. The low toxicity of conglobatin further indicates a beneficial on-target toxicity profile for Hsp90/Cdc37 interface inhibitors. We therefore computationally screened >7 M compounds, and identified four novel small molecules with activities of 4 μM–44 μM in vitro. All of the compounds were K-Ras selective, and potently decreased the Hsp90 client protein levels without inducing the heat shock response. Moreover, they all inhibited the 2D proliferation of breast, pancreatic, and lung cancer cell lines. The most active compounds from each scaffold, furthermore, significantly blocked 3D spheroids and the growth of K-Ras-dependent microtumors. We foresee new opportunities for improved Hsp90/Cdc37 interface inhibitors in cancer and other aging-associated diseases.

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