Regulation of 17-AAG-induced apoptosis: Role of Bcl-2, Bcl-XL, and Bax downstream of 17-AAG-mediated down-regulation of Akt, Raf-1, and Src kinases

Ramadevi Nimmanapalli, Erica O'Bryan, Deborah Kuhn, Hirohito Yamaguchi, Hong Gang Wang, Kapil N. Bhalla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


17-allylamino-demethoxy geldanamycin (17-AAG) inhibits the chaperone function of heat shock protein-90 (Hsp-90) and promotes the proteasomal degradation of its misfolded client proteins. Here, we demonstrate that treatment of the human acute myeloid leukemia HL-60 cells with 17-AAG attenuates the intracellular levels of a number of Hsp-90 client proteins, including Akt, c-Raf-1, and c-Src. Also, 17-AAG induced the mitochondrial release and cytosolic accumulation of cytochrome c (cyt c) and second mitochondria-derived activator of caspases (Smac)/DIABLO, resulting in the activation of caspase-9 and caspase-3 and apoptosis. Treatment with 17-AAG triggered the B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2)-associated X protein (Bax) conformational change associated with apoptosis, while Bax-deficient cells were resistant to 17-AAG-induced apoptosis. In addition, in HL-60/Bcl-2 and HL-60/Bcl-XL cells, which ectopically express Bcl-2 and Bcl-XL respectively, 17-AAG-induced Bax conformational change, cytosolic accumulation of cyt c and Smac/DIABLO, and apoptosis were markedly inhibited. Although the rate of 17-AAG-mediated decline in Akt, c-Raf-1, and c-Src levels was blunted, the total decline was not compromised in HL-60/Bcl-2 and HL-60/Bcl-XL cells. Cotreatment with HA14-1, a nonpeptidic ligand that can bind and inhibit the antiapoptotic activity of Bcl-2, significantly overcame the resistance to 17-AAG-induced apoptosis in HL-60/Bcl-2 cells. Together, these findings indicate that although 17-AAG treatment causes the levels of a number of survival-signaling protein kinases to decline, the downstream engagement of the mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis is regulated by the activity of the Bcl-2 family of proteins. Also, neutralizing the antiapoptotic effect of Bcl-2 would further enhance the antileukemia activity of 17-AAG.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-275
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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