Year of Publication

2007

Document Type

Dissertation

College

Graduate School

Department

Toxicology

First Advisor

Kevin D. Sarge

Abstract

The heat-shock response is one of the many complex physiological systems that organisms have developed in order to protect their cells against stress. This response is initiated by the binding of heat shock factor 1 (HSF1) to the promoters of genes containing heat-shock elements (HSEs,) which results in the expression of several proteins, among them the proteo-protective inducible heat-shock protein (hsp70i). Due to HSF1s critical role in this process, an active area of research is trying to understand of how HSF1 executes its function. Considering the rapidity with which the field of cell biology is expanding, in particular the sub-field of nuclear compartmentalization, this study seeks to understand how nuclear structure affects the function of HSF1. Specifically, this study investigates the potential role for the interaction between HSF1 and the translocated promoter region protein (Tpr,) a structural component of the nuclear pore, an interaction initially identified by yeast two-hybrid analysis, in the transcription of hsp70i. Due to Tprs location and its putative function in nucleo-cytoplasmic trafficking, this works seeks to answer to the question, Does Tpr play a role in the export of HSF1-driven mRNAs? In a similar vein, heat-shock transcription factor 2 (HSF2,) a less well-understood member of the heat-shock transcription factor family, also interacts with Tpr in the yeast two-hybrid assay. HSF2 has recently been shown to have an active role during mitosis, when the hsp70i gene is being bookmarked for potential expression that might be needed in early G1, when most genes are unable to be expressed. This body of work also seeks to answer the question of, Does the Tpr/HSF2 interaction have a role in positioning the gene in relation to the nuclear pore after mitosis? This study was performed using both novel and standard in vivo and in vitro molecular biology techniques. It ultimately aims to clarify the less understood, although much broader, subject of how does transcription occur in the three-dimensional space of the nucleus.

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