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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Mar 1, 1991; 88(5): 1681–1685.
PMCID: PMC51088

Thermal response of rat fibroblasts stably transfected with the human 70-kDa heat shock protein-encoding gene.

Abstract

The major heat shock protein hsp70 is synthesized by cells of a wide variety of organisms in response to heat shock or other environmental stresses and is assumed to play an important role in protecting cells from thermal stress. We have tested this hypothesis directly by transfecting a constitutively expressed recombinant human hsp70-encoding gene into rat fibroblasts and examining the relationship between the levels of human hsp70 expressed and thermal resistance of the stably transfected rat cells. Successful transfection and expression of the gene for human hsp70 were characterized by RNA hybridization analysis, two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, and immunoblot analysis. When individual cloned cell lines were exposed to 45 degrees C and their thermal survivals were determined by colony-formation assay, we found that the expression of human hsp70 conferred heat resistance to the rat cells. These results reinforce the hypothesis that hsp70 has a protective function against thermal stress.

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