In all species studied to date, the function of heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90), a ubiquitous and evolutionarily conserved molecular chaperone, is inhibited selectively by the natural product drugs geldanamycin (GA) and radicicol. Crystal structures of the N-terminal region of yeast and human Hsp90 have revealed that these compounds interact with the chaperone in a Bergerat-type adenine nucleotide–binding fold shared throughout the gyrase, Hsp90, histidine kinase mutL (GHKL) superfamily of adenosine triphosphatases. To better understand the consequences of disrupting Hsp90 function in a genetically tractable multicellular organism, we exposed the soil-dwelling nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to GA under a variety of conditions designed to optimize drug uptake. Mutations in the gene encoding C elegans Hsp90 affect larval viability, dauer development, fertility, and life span. However, exposure of worms to GA produced no discernable phenotypes, although the amino acid sequence of worm Hsp90 is 85% homologous to that of human Hsp90. Consistent with this observation, we found that solid phase–immobilized GA failed to bind worm Hsp90 from worm protein extracts or when translated in a rabbit reticulocyte lysate system. Further, affinity precipitation studies using chimeric worm-vertebrate fusion proteins or worm C-terminal truncations expressed in reticulocyte lysate revealed that the conserved nucleotide-binding fold of worm Hsp90 exhibits the novel ability to bind adenosine triphosphate but not GA. Despite its unusual GA resistance, worm Hsp90 appeared fully functional when expressed in a vertebrate background. It heterodimerized with its vertebrate counterpart and showed no evidence of compromising its essential cellular functions. Heterologous expression of worm Hsp90 in tumor cells, however, did not render them GA resistant. These findings provide new insights into the nature of unusual N-terminal nucleotide-binding fold of Hsp90 and suggest that target-related drug resistance is unlikely to emerge in patients receiving GA-like chemotherapeutic agents.