Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology

, Volume 393, Issue 2, pp 253–262 | Cite as

HSP90 inhibitor PU-H71 increases radiosensitivity of breast cancer cells metastasized to visceral organs and alters the levels of inflammatory mediators

  • Şule Kale
  • Aylin F. Korcum
  • Ertuğrul Dündar
  • Nuray ErinEmail author
Original Article


Heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) inhibitors are considered as new radiosensitizing agents. PU-H71, a novel HSP90 inhibitor, is under evaluation for the treatment of advanced cancer. It is however not known whether PU-H71 alters radiosensitivity of metastatic breast cancer. Hence, we here evaluated mechanisms of possible anti-tumoral and radiosensitizing effects of PU-H71 on breast carcinoma cells metastasized to vital organs such as the liver and brain. The effect of PU-H71 on proliferation of breast carcinoma cells was determined using 4T1 cells and its brain (4TBM), liver (4TLM), and heart (4THM) metastatic subsets as well as non-metastatic 67NR cells. Changes in radiation sensitivity were determined by clonogenic assays. Changes in client proteins and levels of angiogenic and inflammatory mediators from these cancer cell cultures and ex vivo cultures were detected. PU-H71 alone inhibited ERK1/2, p38, and Akt activation and reduced N-cadherin and HER2 which further documented the anti-tumoral effects of PU-H71. The combination of PU-H71 and radiotherapy induced cytotoxic effect than PU-H71 alone, and PU-H71 showed a radiosensitizing effect in vitro. On the other hand, PU-H71 and radiation co-treatment increased p38 phosphorylation which is one of the hallmarks of inflammatory response. Accordingly, IL-6 secretion was increased following PU-H71 and radiotherapy co-treatment ex vivo. Levels of angiogenic and inflammatory factors such as MIP-2, SDF-1, and VEGF were increased under in vitro conditions but not under ex vivo conditions. These results demonstrated for the first time that PU-H71 enhances therapeutic effects of radiotherapy especially in highly metastatic breast carcinoma but a possible increase in inflammatory response should also be considered.


PU-H71 Radiosensitivity HSP90 inhibitor Breast cancer Metastasis 



Heat shock protein 90


Stromal-derived factor-1


Macrophage inflammatory protein-2


Vascular endothelial growth factor


Interleukin 6




4T1 heart metastasis


4T1 liver metastasis


4T1 brain metastasis



This study was supported by Akdeniz University Research Unit, Grant No: 2014.03.0122.005.

Authors’ contributions

ŞK conducted the experiments; ŞK and NE were involved in planning and analyzing the experiments as well as writing the manuscript; AK and ED are involved in planning and conducting of the radiotherapy experiments.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

210_2019_1725_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (542 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 541 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology, School of MedicineAkdeniz UniversityAntalyaTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Radiation Oncology, School of MedicineAkdeniz UniversityAntalyaTurkey

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