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Mol Cell. 2012 Oct 26;48(2):182-94. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2012.07.026. Epub 2012 Aug 30.

RPA assists HSF1 access to nucleosomal DNA by recruiting histone chaperone FACT.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Yamaguchi University School of Medicine, Minami-Kogushi 1-1-1, Ube 755-8505, Japan.


Transcription factor access to regulatory elements is prevented by the nucleosome. Heat shock factor 1 (HSF1) is a winged helix transcription factor that plays roles in control and stressed conditions by gaining access to target elements, but mechanisms of HSF1 access are not well known in mammalian cells. Here, we show the physical interaction between the wing motif of human HSF1 and replication protein A (RPA), which is involved in DNA metabolism. Depletion of RPA1 abolishes HSF1 access to the promoter of HSP70 in unstressed condition and delays its rapid activation in response to heat shock. The HSF1-RPA complex leads to preloading of RNA polymerase II and opens the chromatin structure by recruiting a histone chaperone, FACT. Furthermore, this interaction is required for melanoma cell proliferation. These results provide a mechanism of constitutive HSF1 access to nucleosomal DNA, which is important for both basal and inducible gene expression.

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