Letter| Volume 90, ISSUE 3, P357-360, June 2018

Heat shock protein 90 inhibitor enhances apoptosis by inhibiting the AKT pathway in thermal-stimulated SK-MEL-2 human melanoma cell line

Published:February 08, 2018DOI:



      Heat shock proteins (Hsps) are chaperone proteins, which are upregulated after various stresses. Hsp90 inhibitors have been investigated as adjuvant therapies for the treatment of melanoma. Thermal ablation could be a treatment option for surgically unresectable melanoma or congenital nevomelanocytic nevi, however, there is a limitation such as the possibility of recurrence.


      We evaluated apoptosis in a melanoma cell line treated with the Hsp90 inhibitor 17-Dimethylaminoethylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin (17-DMAG), in hyperthermic conditions.


      SK-MEL-2 cells were stimulated at 43 °C for 1 h and treated with 0, 0.1 and 1 μM 17-DMAG. We evaluated the cell viability using MTT and apoptosis with HSP 90 inhibitor. We studied the protein expression of AKT, phospho-AKT, ERK, phospho-ERK, MAPK, and phospho-MAPK, caspase 3,7,9, and anti-poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase.


      17-DMAG significantly inhibited the proliferation of the SK-MEL-2 cells at 37 °C (0.1 μM: 44.47% and 1 μM: 61.23%) and 43 °C (0.1 μM: 49.21% and 1 μM: 63.60%), suggesting synergism between thermal stimulation and 17-DMAG. 17-DMAG treatment increased the frequency of apoptotic cell populations to 2.17% (0.1 μM) and 3.05% (1 μM) in 37 °C controls, and 4.40% (0.1 μM) and 4.97% (1 μM) in the group stimulated at 43 °C. AKT phosphorylation were activated by thermal stimulation and inhibited by 17-DMAG.


      Hsp90 inhibitor treatment may be clinically applicable to enhance the apoptosis of melanoma cells in hyperthermic condition.


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