Requirement of Hsp105 in CoCl2-induced HIF-1α accumulation and transcriptional activation

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The mammalian stress protein Hsp105α protects cells from stress conditions. Several studies have indicated that Hsp105α is overexpressed in many types of solid tumors, which contain hypoxic microenvironments. However, the role of Hsp105α in hypoxic tumors remains largely unknown. We herein demonstrated the involvement of Hsp105α in HIF-1 functions induced by the hypoxia-mimetic agent CoCl2. While Hsp105α is mainly localized in the cytoplasm under normal conditions, a treatment with CoCl2 induces the nuclear localization of Hsp105α, which correlated with HIF-1α expression levels. The overexpression of degradation-resistant HIF-1α enhances the nuclear localization of Hsp105α without the CoCl2 treatment. The CoCl2-dependent transcriptional activation of HIF-1, which is measured using a reporter gene containing a HIF-responsive element, is reduced by the knockdown of Hsp105α. Furthermore, the CoCl2-induced accumulation of HIF-1α is enhanced by heat shock, which results in the nuclear localization of Hsp105, and is suppressed by the knockdown of Hsp105. Hsp105 associates with HIF-1α in CoCl2-treated cells. These results suggest that Hsp105α plays an important role in the functions of HIF-1 under hypoxic conditions, in which Hsp105α enhances the accumulation and transcriptional activity of HIF-1 through the HIF-1α-mediated nuclear localization of Hsp105α.

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