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Heat shock factor-1 modulates p53 activity in the transcriptional response to DNA damage

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ian Logan, Hesta McNeill, Susan Cook, Dr Xiaohong Lu, Professor John LunecORCiD, Professor Craig Robson



Here we define an important role for heat shock factor 1 (HSF1) in the cellular response to genotoxic agents. We demonstrate for the first time that HSF1 can complex with nuclear p53 and that both proteins are co-operatively recruited to p53-responsive genes such as p21. Analysis of natural and synthetic cis elements demonstrates that HSF1 can enhance p53-mediated transcription, whilst depletion of HSF1 reduces the expression of p53-responsive transcripts. We find that HSF1 is required for optimal p21 expression and p53-mediated cell-cycle arrest in response to genotoxins while loss of HSF1 attenuates apoptosis in response to these agents. To explain these novel properties of HSF1 we show that HSF1 can complex with DNA damage kinases ATR and Chk1 to effect p53 phosphorylation in response to DNA damage. Our data reveal HSF1 as a key transcriptional regulator in response to genotoxic compounds widely used in the clinical setting, and suggest that HSF1 will contribute to the efficacy of these agents.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Logan IR, McNeill HV, Cook S, Lu X, Meek DW, Fuller-Pace FV, Lunec J, Robson CN

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Nucleic Acids Research

Year: 2009

Volume: 37

Issue: 9

Pages: 2962-2973

Date deposited: 06/04/2010

ISSN (print): 0305-1048

ISSN (electronic): 1362-4954

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkp180


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Funder referenceFunder name
Foulkes Foundation Fellowship
Medical Research Council, UK
G0100100/64424Prostate Cancer Mechanisms of Progression and Treatment
LSHCCT-2004-504587Prostate Cancer Integral Management Approach