E2F coregulates an essential HSF developmental program that is distinct from the heat-shock response

Jian Li, Laetitia Chauve, Grace Phelps, Renée M. Brielmann, Richard I. Morimoto*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Heat-shock factor (HSF) is the master transcriptional regulator of the heat-shock response (HSR) and is essential for stress resilience. HSF is also required for metazoan development; however, its function and regulation in this process are poorly understood. Here, we characterize the genomic distribution and transcriptional activity of Caenorhabditis elegans HSF-1 during larval development and show that the developmental HSF-1 transcriptional program is distinct from the HSR. HSF-1 developmental activation requires binding of E2F/DP to a GC-rich motif that facilitates HSF-1 binding to a heat-shock element (HSE) that is degenerate from the consensus HSE sequence and adjacent to the E2F-binding site at promoters. In contrast, induction of the HSR is independent of these promoter elements or E2F/DP and instead requires a distinct set of tandem canonical HSEs. Together, E2F and HSF-1 directly regulate a gene network, including a specific subset of chaperones, to promote protein biogenesis and anabolic metabolism, which are essential in development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2062-2075
Number of pages14
JournalGenes and Development
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 15 2016


  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Development
  • E2F transcription factor
  • Heat-shock factor (HSF)
  • Molecular chaperones
  • Stress response
  • Transcription regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology


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