Effects of neurohormonal stress and aging on the activation of mammalian heat shock factor 1

Timothy W. Fawcett, Sherrie L. Sylvester, Kevin D. Sarge, Richard I Morimoto, Nikki J. Holbrook*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


The mammalian heat shock response has been investigated extensively using tissue culture cells with only a limited amount of information available on animals and intact tissues. The neurohormonal stress response mediated by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis leads to the activation of heat shock factor (HSF) in rat adrenal tissue. Here we show through the use of antibodies specific to each member of the HSF family that restraint-induced stress in intact Wistar rats and adrenocorticotropic hormone treatment of hypophysectomized animals leads to the activation of HSF1 monomers to trimers with DNA-binding activity. Because HSF1 is also the target factor for metabolic and environmental stress, these data reveal an intersection of pathways leading to HSF1 activation. Comparison of the biochemical properties and levels of HSF1 in the Wistar and Fischer 344 rat strains reveals that HSF1 is constitutively present in an activated DNA-binding state in the adrenals of Fischer 344 rats. During aging, the levels of HSF1 remain constant, yet the transcription factor from aged animals exhibits a decreased ability to bind DNA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32272-32278
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number51
StatePublished - Dec 23 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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