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Free Content Heat shock factor 1 is a key regulator of the stress response in Chlamydomonas

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We report here on the characterization of heat shock factor 1 (HSF1), encoded by one of two HSF genes identified in the genome of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Chlamydomonas HSF1 shares features characteristic of class A HSFs of higher plants. HSF1 is weakly expressed under non-stress conditions and rapidly induced by heat shock. Heat shock also resulted in hyperphosphorylation of HSF1, and the extent of phosphorylation correlated with the degree of induction of heat shock genes, suggesting a role for phosphorylation in HSF1 activation. HSF1, like HSFs in yeasts, forms high-molecular-weight complexes, presumably trimers, under non-stress, stress and recovery conditions. Immunoprecipitation of HSF1 under these conditions led to the identification of cytosolic HSP70A as a protein constitutively interacting with HSF1. Strains in which HSF1 was strongly under-expressed by RNAi were highly sensitive to heat stress. 14C-labelling of nuclear-encoded proteins under heat stress revealed that synthesis of members of the HSP100, HSP90, HSP70, HSP60 and small HSP families in the HSF1-RNAi strains was dramatically reduced or completely abolished. This correlated with a complete loss of HSP gene induction at the RNA level. These data suggest that HSF1 is a key regulator of the stress response in Chlamydomonas.
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Keywords: Chlamydomonas; HSP70 chaperone; RNAi; heat shock; protein phosphorylation; transcription factor

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2007

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