HSP90 inhibition acts synergistically with heat to induce a pro-immunogenic form of cell death in colon cancer cells

Background: Sub-ablative heat induces pleiotropic biological effects in cancer cells, activating programmed cell death or survival processes. These processes decide the fate of the heated cell. This study investigates these and assesses whether heat, in combination with HSP90 inhibition, augments cell death and induces a pro-immune phenotype in these cells.

Methods: HCT116 and HT29 cells were subjected to thermal doses (TID) of 60 and 120CEM43 using a PCR thermal cycler. HSP90 was inhibited with NVP-AUY922. Viability was assessed using the MTT assay. Cellular ATP and HSP70 release were assessed using ATP and Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent assays, respectively. Flow cytometry and immunoblotting were used to study the regulation of biomarkers associated with the heat shock response, the cell cycle, and immunogenic and programmed cell death.

Results: Exposure of HCT116 and HT29 cells to TIDs of 60 and 120CEM43 decreased their viability. In addition, treatment with 120CEM43 increased intracellular HSP70 and the percentage of HCT116/HT29 cells in the G2/M cell cycle phase, ATP release and Calreticulin/HSP70/HSP90 exposure in the plasma membrane, while downregulating CD47 compared to sham-exposed cells. When combined with NVP-AUY922, treatment of HCT116/HT29 cells with 120CEM43 resulted in a synergistic decrease of cell viability associated with the induction of apoptosis. Also, the combined treatments increased Calreticulin exposure, CD47 downregulation, and HSP70 release compared to the sham-exposed cells.

Conclusion: Sub-ablative heating can act synergistically with the clinically relevant HSP90 inhibitor NVP-AUY922 to induce a pro-immunogenic form of cell death in colon cancer cells.

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S1069 Luminespib (NVP-AUY922) Luminespib (AUY-922, NVP-AUY922, VER-52296) is a highly potent HSP90 inhibitor for HSP90α/β with IC50 of 13 nM /21 nM in cell-free assays, weaker potency against the HSP90 family members GRP94 and TRAP-1, exhibits the tightest binding of any small-molecule HSP90 ligand. Luminespib (AUY-922, NVP-AUY922) effectively downregulates and destabilizes the IGF-1Rβ protein and results in growth inhibition, autophagy and apoptosis. Phase 2. (93) (3)

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