NF-κB signaling pathway is inhibited by heat shock independently of active transcription factor HSF1 and increased levels of inducible heat shock proteins

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NF-κB transcription factor regulates numerous genes important for inflammation, immune responses and cell survival. HSF1 is the primary transcription factor activated under stress conditions that is responsible for induction of genes encoding heat shock proteins. Previous studies have shown that the NF-κB activation pathway is blocked by heat shock possibly involving heat shock proteins. Here, we investigate whether active HSF1 inhibited this pathway in the absence of stress conditions. Activation of the NF-κB pathway and expression of NF-κB-dependent genes were analyzed in TNFα-stimulated U-2 OS human osteosarcoma cells that were either heat-shocked or engineered to express a constitutively active form of HSF1 in the absence of heat shock. As expected, heat shock resulted in a general blockade in the degradation of the IκBα inhibitor, nuclear translocation of NF-κB and expression of NF-κB-dependent target genes. In marked contrast, the presence of constitutively active HSF1 did not block TNFα-induced activation of the NF-κB pathway or expression of a set of the NF-κB-dependent genes. We conclude that in the absence of heat shock, the NF-κB activation pathway is inhibited by neither active HSF1 transcription factor nor by increased levels of HSF1-induced heat shock proteins.

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