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Crosstalk between HSF1 and HSF2 during the heat shock response in mouse testes

Korfanty, Joanna, Stokowy, Tomasz, Widlak, Piotr, Gogler-Piglowska, Agnieszka, Handschuh, Luiza, Podkowiński, Jan, Vydra, Natalia, Naumowicz, Anna, Toma-Jonik, Agnieszka, Widlak, Wieslawa
The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology 2014 v.57 pp. 76-83
apoptosis, binding sites, chromatin, fever, genes, heat, heat shock proteins, heat shock response, heat stress, males, mice, precipitin tests, promoter regions, spermatocytes, spermatogenesis, testes, transcription factors
Heat Shock Factor 1 (HSF1) is the primary transcription factor responsible for the response to cellular stress, while HSF2 becomes activated during development and differentiation, including spermatogenesis. Although both factors are indispensable for proper spermatogenesis, activation of HSF1 by heat shock initiates apoptosis of spermatogenic cells leading to infertility of males. To characterize mechanisms assisting such heat induced apoptosis we studied how HSF1 and HSF2 cooperate during the heat shock response. For this purpose we used chromatin immunoprecipitation and the proximity ligation approaches. We looked for co-occupation of binding sites by HSF1 and HSF2 in untreated (32°C) or heat shocked (at 38°C or 43°C) spermatocytes, which are cells the most sensitive to hyperthermia. At the physiological temperature or after mild hyperthermia at 38°C, the sharing of binding sites for both HSFs was observed mainly in promoters of Hsp genes and other stress-related genes. Strong hyperthermia at 43°C resulted in an increased binding of HSF1 and releasing of HSF2, hence co-occupation of promoter regions was not detected any more. The close proximity of HSF1 and HSF2 (and/or existence of HSF1/HSF2 complexes) was frequent at the physiological temperature. Temperature elevation resulted in a decreased number of such complexes and they were barely detected after strong hyperthermia at 43°C. We have concluded that at the physiological temperature HSF1 and HSF2 cooperate in spermatogenic cells. However, temperature elevation causes remodeling of chromatin binding and interactions between HSFs are disrupted. This potentially affects the regulation of stress response and contributes to the heat sensitivity of these cells.