Heat shock response and protein degradation: Regulation of HSF2 by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway

Anu Mathew, Sameer K. Mathur, Richard I. Morimoto*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

165 Scopus citations


Mammalian cells coexpress a family of heat shock factors (HSFs) whose activities are regulated by diverse stress conditions to coordinate the inducible expression of heat shock genes. Distinct from HSF1, which is expressed ubiquitously and activated by heat shock and other stresses that result in the appearance of nonnative proteins, the stress signal for HSF2 has not been identified. HSF2 activity has been associated with development and differentiation, and the activation properties of HSF2 have been characterized in hemin-treated human K562 erythroleukemia cells. Here, we demonstrate that a stress signal for HSF2 activation occurs when the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway is inhibited. HSF2 DNA-binding activity is induced upon exposure of mammalian cells to the proteasome inhibitors hemin, MG132, and lactacystin, and in the mouse ts85 cell line, which carries a temperature sensitivity mutation in the ubiquitin-activating enzyme (E1) upon shift to the nonpermissive temperature. HSF2 is labile, and its activation requires both continued protein synthesis and reduced degradation. The downstream effect of HSF2 activation by proteasome inhibitors is the induction of the same set of heat shock genes that are induced during heat shock by HSF1, thus revealing that HSF2 affords the cell with a novel heat shock gene-regulatory mechanism to respond to changes in the protein- degradative machinery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5091-5098
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Heat shock response and protein degradation: Regulation of HSF2 by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this