HSP27 could represent a predictive marker of therapeutic response towards specific drug classes in pancreatic cancer and provides a novel molecular rationale for current clinical trials applying the combination of gemcitabine with regional hyperthermia in pancreatic cancer patients.
U937 cells, a human myelomonocytic lymphoma cell line, were treated with hyperthermia at 42 degrees C for 90 min and cultured at 37 degrees C. Apoptotic cells ( approximately 15%) were seen 6 h after hyperthermic treatment, and elevated expression of heat shock proteins (HSPs) including Hsp27, Hsp40, and Hsp70 was detected, following the activation of heat shock factor-1.
The cells were incubated at 41 degrees C for 30 min (mild hyperthermia treatment) and then at 37 degrees C for 0-6 h. Although the mild hyperthermia treatment of the cells did not induce apoptosis, significant increases in the protein expression levels of heat shock proteins (HSPs), namely, Hsp27, Hsp40 and Hsp70, were observed following the activation of heat shock factor-1.
Increases in phosphorylated ERK and decreases in HSP27 levels were observed in the cells exposed to proteasome inhibition at 43 degrees C. Pretreatment with an inhibitor of ERK yielded an additional increase in apoptosis when used in combination with proteasome inhibition and hyperthermia.
Expression in the brain of two heat shock proteins, the70 kDa Hsp (Hsp70) and the 27 kDa Hsp (Hsp27), is notable because both proteins are highly inducible in glial cells and neurons following a wide range of noxious stimuli including ischemia, epileptic seizure and hyperthermia.