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Mol Cell Biol. 1987 Dec;7(12):4357-68.

Posttranscriptional regulation of hsp70 expression in human cells: effects of heat shock, inhibition of protein synthesis, and adenovirus infection on translation and mRNA stability.

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Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Cell Biology, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60201.


We have examined the posttranscriptional regulation of hsp70 gene expression in two human cell lines, HeLa and 293 cells, which constitutively express high levels of HSP70. HSP70 mRNA translates with high efficiency in both control and heat-shocked cells. Therefore, heat shock is not required for the efficient translation of HSP70 mRNA. Rather, the main effect of heat shock on translation is to suppress the translatability of non-heat shock mRNAs. Heat shock, however, has a marked effect on the stability of HSP70 mRNA; in non-heat-shocked cells the half-life of HSP70 mRNA is approximately 50 min, and its stability increases at least 10-fold upon heat shock. Moreover, HSP70 mRNA is more stable in cells treated with protein synthesis inhibitors, suggesting that a heat shock-sensitive labile protein regulates its turnover. An additional effect on posttranscriptional regulation of hsp70 expression can be found in adenovirus-infected cells, in which HSP70 mRNA levels decline precipititously late during infection although hsp70 transcription continues unabated.

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