Heat shock protein 70 overexpression affects the response to ultraviolet light in murine fibroblasts. Evidence for increased cell viability and suppression of cytokine release

J Clin Invest. 1995 Mar;95(3):926-33. doi: 10.1172/JCI117800.


To elucidate cellular concepts for protection against ultraviolet (UV) light we investigated the effect of heat shock protein 70 (hsp70) overexpression on cell viability and on the secretion of UV-inducible immunological cytokines. Transfected murine fibrosarcoma cells (WEHI-S), overexpressing hsp70 or a sham transfected control were used. Overexpression of hsp70 was sufficient to markedly increase cell viability upon treatment with UVB (290-320 nm). Since long wave UV (UVA, 320-400 nm) as well as UVB turned out to stimulate the release of O2- radicals we studied the cell viability upon oxidative stress. Hsp70 overexpression increased viability upon treatment with hydrogen peroxide or menadione, but had no influence on UV-induced O2- release. UV-light is known to upregulate immunologic and proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-1 and IL-6. Oxidative stress appeared to exert a similar effect. Hsp70 overexpression markedly decreased the release of IL-6 induced by UVA, UVB and oxidative stress. To test whether the hsp70 mediated suppression is confined to events caused by UV-light we determined IL-1-mediated effects. IL-1-induced IL-6 release was reduced by hsp70 overexpression, whereas the IL-1 mediated activation of nuclear factor kappa B was not affected. Our data suggests that hsp70 plays a central role not only in cell protection against UV-light, but also in the regulation of proinflammatory cytokine release induced by UV-exposure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Survival
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins / biosynthesis
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins / genetics
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / pharmacology
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Radiation Tolerance / physiology*
  • Radiation-Protective Agents / metabolism*
  • Recombinant Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Signal Transduction
  • Superoxides / metabolism
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects*
  • Vitamin K / pharmacology


  • Cytokines
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • NF-kappa B
  • Radiation-Protective Agents
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Superoxides
  • Vitamin K
  • Hydrogen Peroxide