We have cloned two distinct mouse heat shock transcription factor genes, mHSF1 and mHSF2. The mHSF1 and mHSF2 open reading frames are similar in size, containing 503 and 517 amino acids, respectively. Although mHSF1 and mHSF2 are quite divergent overall (only 38% identity), they display extensive homology in the DNA-binding and oligomerization domains that are conserved in the heat shock factors of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Kluyveromyces lactis, Drosophila, tomato, and human. The ability of these two mouse heat shock factors to bind to the heat shock element (HSE) is regulated by heat. mHSF1 is expressed in an in vitro translation system in an inactive form that is activated to DNA binding by incubation at temperatures >41°C, the same temperatures that activate heat shock factor DNA binding and the stress response in mouse cells in vivo. mHSF2, on the other hand, is expressed in a form that binds DNA constitutively but loses DNA binding by incubation at >41°C. Both mHSF1 and mHSF2 are encoded by single-copy genes, and neither is transcriptionally regulated by heat shock. However, there is a striking difference in the levels of mHSF1 mRNA in different tissues of the mouse.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Biology