Identification of a geldanamycin dimer that induces the selective degradation of HER-family tyrosine kinases
Geldanamycin (GM) is a natural antibiotic that binds Hsp90 and induces the degradation of receptor tyrosine kinases, steroid receptors, and Raf. It is a potent inhibitor of cancer cells that overexpress HER-kinases, but its effects on other important proteins may cause significant toxicity and limit its clinical use. We report the synthesis and identification of a GM dimer, GMD-4c, which had selective activity against HER-kinases. Selectivity was a function of linker length and required two intact GM moieties. GMD-4c is a potent inducer of G1 block and apoptosis of breast cancer cell lines that overexpress HER2, but does not appreciably inhibit the growth of 32D cells that lack HER-kinases. GMD-4c could be useful in the treatment of carcinomas dependent on HER-kinases.