The HSP90 inhibitor HVH-2930 exhibits potent efficacy against trastuzumab-resistant HER2-positive breast cancer


Theranostics. 2024 Mar 31;14(6):2442-2463. doi: 10.7150/thno.93236. eCollection 2024.


Rationale: Resistance to targeted therapies like trastuzumab remains a critical challenge for HER2-positive breast cancer patients. Despite the progress of several N-terminal HSP90 inhibitors in clinical trials, none have achieved approval for clinical use, primarily due to issues such as induction of the heat shock response (HSR), off-target effects, and unfavorable toxicity profiles. We sought to examine the effects of HVH-2930, a novel C-terminal HSP90 inhibitor, in overcoming trastuzumab resistance. Methods: The effect of HVH-2930 on trastuzumab-sensitive and -resistant cell lines in vitro was evaluated in terms of cell viability, expression of HSP90 client proteins, and impact on cancer stem cells. An in vivo model with trastuzumab-resistant JIMT-1 cells was used to examine the efficacy and toxicity of HVH-2930. Results: HVH-2930 was rationally designed to fit into the ATP-binding pocket interface cavity of the hHSP90 homodimer in the C-terminal domain of HSP90, stabilizing its open conformation and hindering ATP binding. HVH-2930 induces apoptosis without inducing the HSR but by specifically suppressing the HER2 signaling pathway. This occurs with the downregulation of HER2/p95HER2 and disruption of HER2 family member heterodimerization. Attenuation of cancer stem cell (CSC)-like properties was associated with the downregulation of stemness factors such as ALDH1, CD44, Nanog and Oct4. Furthermore, HVH-2930 administration inhibited angiogenesis and tumor growth in trastuzumab-resistant xenograft mice. A synergistic effect was observed when combining HVH-2930 and paclitaxel in JIMT-1 xenografts. Conclusion: Our findings highlight the potent efficacy of HVH-2930 in overcoming trastuzumab resistance in HER2-positive breast cancer. Further investigation is warranted to fully establish its therapeutic potential.

PMID:38646654 | PMC:PMC11024854 | DOI:10.7150/thno.93236