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Mol Cell Biol. 2002 Nov;22(22):8005-14.

Heat shock transcription factor 2 is not essential for embryonic development, fertility, or adult cognitive and psychomotor function in mice.

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Departments of Internal Medicine. Pediatrics. Pathology. Division of Cell and Molecular Biology, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas, Texas 75235, USA.


Members of the heat shock factor (HSF) family are evolutionarily conserved regulators that share a highly homologous DNA-binding domain. In mammals, HSF1 is the main factor controlling the stress-inducible expression of Hsp genes while the functions of HSF2 and HSF4 are less clear. Based on its developmental profile of expression, it was hypothesized that HSF2 may play an essential role in brain and heart development, spermatogenesis, and erythroid differentiation. To directly assess this hypothesis and better understand the underlying mechanisms that require HSF2, we generated Hsf2 knockout mice. Here, we report that Hsf2(-/-) mice are viable and fertile and exhibit normal life span and behavioral functions. We conclude that HSF2, most probably because its physiological roles are integrated into a redundant network of gene regulation and function, is dispensable for normal development, fertility, and postnatal psychomotor function.

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