The loop domain of heat shock transcription factor 1 dictates DNA-binding specificity and responses to heat stress.


Journal Article

Eukaryotic heat shock transcription factors (HSF) regulate an evolutionarily conserved stress-response pathway essential for survival against a variety of environmental and developmental stresses. Although the highly similar HSF family members have distinct roles in responding to stress and activating target gene expression, the mechanisms that govern these roles are unknown. Here we identify a loop within the HSF1 DNA-binding domain that dictates HSF isoform specific DNA binding in vitro and preferential target gene activation by HSF family members in both a yeast transcription assay and in mammalian cells. These characteristics of the HSF1 loop region are transposable to HSF2 and sufficient to confer DNA-binding specificity, heat shock inducible HSP gene expression and protection from heat-induced apoptosis in vivo. In addition, the loop suppresses formation of the HSF1 trimer under basal conditions and is required for heat-inducible trimerization in a purified system in vitro, suggesting that this domain is a critical part of the HSF1 heat-stress-sensing mechanism. We propose that this domain defines a signature for HSF1 that constitutes an important determinant for how cells utilize a family of transcription factors to respond to distinct stresses.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Ahn, SG; Liu, PC; Klyachko, K; Morimoto, RI; Thiele, DJ

Published Date

  • August 15, 2001

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 15 / 16

Start / End Page

  • 2134 - 2145

PubMed ID

  • 11511544

Pubmed Central ID

  • 11511544

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0890-9369

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1101/gad.894801


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States