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Cell Stress Chaperones. 2015 May;20(3):545-54. doi: 10.1007/s12192-014-0563-y. Epub 2015 Feb 6.

Splice variants and seasonal expression of buffalo HSF genes.

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Animal Genomics Lab, Animal Biotechnology Centre, National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, 132001, Haryana, India,


In eukaryotes, the heat shock factors (HSFs) are recognized as the master regulator of the heat shock response. In this respect, the genes encoding the heat shock factors seem to be important for adaptation to thermal stress in organisms. Despite this, only few mammalian HSFs has been characterized. In this study, four major heat shock factor genes viz. HSF-1, 2, 4, and 5 were studied. The main objective of the present study was to characterize the cDNA encoding using conserved gene specific primers and to investigate the expression status of these buffalo HSF genes. Our RT-PCR analysis uncovered two distinct variants of buffalo HSF-1 and HSF-2 gene transcripts. In addition, we identified a variant of the HSF5 transcript in buffalo lacking a DNA-binding domain. In silico analysis of deduced amino acid sequences for buffalo HSF genes showed domain architecture similar to other mammalian species. Changes in the gene expression profile were noted by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis. We detected the transcript of buffalo HSF genes in different tissues. We also evaluated the seasonal changes in the expression of HSF genes. Interestingly, the transcript level of HSF-1 gene was found upregulated in months of high and low ambient temperatures. In contrast, the expression of the HSF-4 and 5 genes was found to be downregulated in months of high ambient temperature. This suggests that the intricate balance of different HSFs is adjusted to minimize the effect of seasonal changes in environmental conditions. These findings advance our understanding of the complex, context-dependent regulation of HSF gene expression under normal and stressful conditions.

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