Effect of heat shock factor inhibitor, KNK437, on stress-induced hsp30 gene expression in Xenopus laevis A6 cells
Prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms respond to various stresses with the production of heat shock proteins (HSPs). HSPs are molecular chaperones that bind to unfolded proteins and inhibit their aggregation as well as maintaining their solubility until they can be refolded to their original conformation. Stress-inducible hsp gene transcription is mediated by the heat shock element (HSE), which interacts with heat shock transcription factor (HSF). In this study, we examined the effect of KNK437 (N-formyl-3,4-methylenedioxy-benzylidene-g-butyrolactam), a benzylidene lactam compound, on heat shock, sodium arsenite, cadmium chloride and herbimycin A-induced hsp gene expression in Xenopus laevis A6 kidney epithelial cells. In studies limited to mammalian cultured cells, KNK437 has been shown to inhibit HSE-HSF1 binding activity and stress-induced hsp gene expression. In the present study, western and northern blot analysis revealed that exposure of A6 cells to heat shock, sodium arsenite, cadmium chloride and herbimycin A induced the accumulation of HSP30 protein and hsp30 mRNA, respectively. Western blot analysis also determined that exposure of A6 cells to heat shock, sodium arsenite, cadmium chloride and herbimycin A induced the accumulation of HSP70 protein. Pre-treatment of A6 cells with 100 µM KNK437 inhibited stress-induced hsp30 mRNA as well as HSP30 and HSP70 protein accumulation. Immunocytochemistry and confocal microscopy were used to confirm the results gained from western blot analysis as well as determine the localization of HSP30 accumulation in A6 cells. A 2 h heat shock at 33°C resulted in the accumulation of HSP30 in the mostly in the cytoplasm with a small amount in the nucleus. Heat shock at 35°C resulted in substantial HSP30 accumulation in the nucleus. This is in contrast with A6 cells treated for 14 h with 10 µM sodium arsenite, 100 µM cadmium chloride and 1 µg/mL herbimycin A, where HSP30 accumulation was found only in the cytoplasm and not in the nucleus. A 6 h pre-treatment with 100 µM KNK437 completely inhibited the accumulation of HSP30 in A6 cells heat shocked at 33 or 35°C as well as cells treated with 1 µg/mL herbimycin A. The same pre-treatment with KNK437 resulted in a 97-100% decrease in HSP30 accumulation in A6 cells treated with 10 µM sodium arsenite or 100 µM cadmium chloride. These results show that KNK437 is effective at inhibiting both heat shock and chemical induced hsp gene expression in amphibian cells.
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