Targeted inhibition of mitochondrial Hsp90 suppresses localised and metastatic prostate cancer growth in a genetic mouse model of disease.

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This article has been peer reviewed. It was published in: British Journal of Cancer.

Volume 104, Issue 4, February 2011, Pages 629-634.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1038/bjc.2011.9. Copyright © Nature


BACKGROUND: The molecular chaperone heat shock protein-90 (Hsp90) is a promising cancer drug target, but current Hsp90-based therapy has so far shown limited activity in the clinic.

METHODS: We tested the efficacy of a novel mitochondrial-targeted, small-molecule Hsp90 inhibitor, Gamitrinib (GA mitochondrial matrix inhibitor), in the Transgenic Adenocarcinoma of the Mouse Prostate (TRAMP) model. The TRAMP mice receiving 3-week or 5-week systemic treatment with Gamitrinib were evaluated for localised or metastatic prostate cancer, prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) or localised inflammation using magnetic resonance imaging, histology and immunohistochemistry. Treatment safety was assessed histologically in organs collected at the end of treatment. The effect of Gamitrinib on mitochondrial dysfunction was studied in RM1 cells isolated from TRAMP tumours.

RESULTS: Systemic administration of Gamitrinib to TRAMP mice inhibited the formation of localised prostate tumours of neuroendocrine or adenocarcinoma origin, as well as metastatic prostate cancer to abdominal lymph nodes and liver. The Gamitrinib treatment had no effect on PIN or prostatic inflammation, and caused no significant animal weight loss or organ toxicity. Mechanistically, Gamitrinib triggered acute mitochondrial dysfunction in RM1 cells, with loss of organelle inner membrane potential and release of cytochrome-c in the cytosol.

CONCLUSIONS: The Gamitrinib has pre-clinical activity and favourable tolerability in a genetic model of localised and metastatic prostate cancer in immunocompetent mice. Selective targeting of mitochondrial Hsp90 could provide novel molecular therapy for patients with advanced prostate cancer.

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