On mechanisms that control heat shock transcription factor activity in metazoan cells

Cell Stress Chaperones. Summer 2004;9(2):122-33. doi: 10.1379/csc-14r.1.


Heat shock factor Hsf in nonvertebrate animals and homologous heat shock factor Hsf1 in vertebrate animals are key transcriptional regulators of the stress protein response. Hsf/Hsf1 is constitutively present in cells but is, typically, only active during periods during which cells are experiencing a physical or chemical proteotoxic stress. It has become increasingly clear that regulation of Hsf/Hsf1 activity occurs at multiple levels: the oligomeric status of Hsf/Hsf1, its DNA-binding ability, posttranslational modification, transcriptional competence, nuclear/ subnuclear localization, as well as its interactions with regulatory cofactors or other transcription factors all appear to be carefully controlled. This review emphasizes work reported over the past several years suggesting that regulation at several of these levels is mediated by repressive interactions of Hsp90-containing multichaperone complexes and/or individual chaperones and Hsf/Hsf1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins / metabolism
  • Heat Shock Transcription Factors
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • HSF1 protein, human
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Heat Shock Transcription Factors
  • Transcription Factors