Low intensity focused ultrasound (LOFU) modulates unfolded protein response and sensitizes prostate cancer to 17AAG

Subhrajit Saha, Payel Bhanja, Ari Partanen, Wei Zhang, Laibin Liu, Wolfgang A. Tomé, Chandan Guha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The hypoxic tumor microenvironment generates oxidative Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) stress, resulting in protein misfolding and unfolded protein response (UPR). UPR induces several molecular chaperones including heat-shock protein 90 (HSP90), which corrects protein misfolding and improves survival of cancer cells and resistance to tumoricidal therapy although prolonged activation of UPR induces cell death. The HSP90 inhibitor, 17AAG, has shown promise against various solid tumors, including prostate cancer (PC). However, therapeutic doses of 17AAG elicit systemic toxicity. In this manuscript, we describe a new paradigm where the combination therapy of a non-ablative and non-invasive low energy focused ultrasound (LOFU) and a non-toxic, low dose 17AAG causes synthetic lethality and significant tumoricidal effects in mouse and human PC xenografts. LOFU induces ER stress and UPR in tumor cells without inducing cell death. Treatment with a non-toxic dose of 17AAG further increased ER stress in LOFU treated PC and switched UPR from a cytoprotective to an apoptotic response in tumors resulting in significant induction of apoptosis and tumor growth retardation. These observations suggest that LOFU-induced ER stress makes the ultrasound-treated tumors more susceptible to chemotherapeutic agents, such as 17AAG. Thus, a novel therapy of LOFU-induced chemosensitization may be designed for locally advanced and recurrent tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)434-445
Number of pages12
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2014


  • 17AAG
  • ER stress
  • Focused Ultrasound
  • Prostate Cancer
  • UPR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Low intensity focused ultrasound (LOFU) modulates unfolded protein response and sensitizes prostate cancer to 17AAG'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this