Heat shock proteins (Hsps) with chaperoning function work together with the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway to prevent the accumulation of misfolded, potentially toxic proteins, as well as to control catabolism of the bulk of cytoplasmic, cellular protein. There is evidence for the involvement of both systems in neurodegenerative disease, and a therapeutic target is the heat shock transcription factor, Hsf1, which mediates upregulation of Hsps in response to cellular stress. The mechanisms regulating expression of proteasomal proteins in mammalian cells are less well defined. To assess any direct effect of Hsf1 on expression of proteasomal subunits and activity in mammalian cells, a plasmid encoding a constitutively active form of Hsf1 (Hsf1act) was expressed in mouse embryonic fibroblasts lacking Hsf1 and in cultured human myoblasts. Plasmid encoding an inactivatible form of Hsf1 (Hsf1inact) served as control. In cultures transfected with plasmid hsf1act, robust expression of the major stress-inducible Hsp, Hsp70, occurred but not in cultures transfected with hsf1inact. No significant changes in the level of expression of representative proteasomal proteins (structural [20Sα], a nonpeptidase beta subunit [20Sβ3], or 2 regulatory subunits [19S subunit 6b, 11Sα]) or in chymotrypsin-, trypsin-, and caspaselike activities of the proteasome were measured. Thus, stress-induced or pharmacological activation of Hsf1 in mammalian cells would upregulate Hsps but not directly affect expression or activity of proteasomes.
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1 July 2005
Proteasome activity or expression is not altered by activation of the heat shock transcription factor Hsf1 in cultured fibroblasts or myoblasts
David M. Taylor,
Jeffrey N. Agar,
Heather D. Durham