Hsp90 Inhibition Depletes Chk1 and Sensitizes Tumor Cells to Replication Stress

Sonnet J.H. Arlander, Alex K. Eapen, Benjamin T. Vroman, Robert J. McDonald, David O. Toft, Larry M. Karnitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

151 Scopus citations


DNA damage and replication stress activate the Chk1 signaling pathway, which blocks S phase progression, stabilizes stalled replication forks, and participates in G2 arrest. In this study, we show that Chk1 interacts with Hsp90, a molecular chaperone that participates in the folding, assembly, maturation, and stabilization of specific proteins known as clients. Consistent with Chk1 being an Hsp90 client, we also found that Chk1 but not Chk2 is destabilized in cells treated with the Hsp90 inhibitor 17-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin (17-AAG). 17-AAG-mediated Chk1 loss blocked the ability of Chk1 to target Cdc25A for proteolytic destruction, demonstrating that the Chk1 signaling pathway was disrupted in the 17-AAG-treated cells. Finally, 17-AAG-mediated disruption of Chk1 activation dramatically sensitized various tumor cells to gemcitabine, an S phase-active chemotherapeutic agent. Collectively, our studies identify Chk1 as a novel Hsp90 client and suggest that pharmacologic inhibition of Hsp90 may sensitize tumor cells to chemotherapeutic agents by disrupting Chk1 function during replication stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52572-52577
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number52
StatePublished - Dec 26 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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