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Cancer Res. 1985 Aug;45(8):3816-24.

Induction of heat shock protein synthesis in murine tumors during the development of thermotolerance.


The function of one or more heat shock proteins (HSPs) may be to confer protection of cells against thermal damage. We examined the induction kinetics of thermotolerance and the synthesis of HSPs in murine tumor models. Squamous cell carcinomas (SCC VII/SF) or radiation-induced fibrosarcomas (RIF) were implanted in the flanks of C3H mice. These flank tumors were first exposed to an elevated temperature (41 degrees-45 degrees C) for a fixed duration, for example, 43 degrees C for 15 min. Some of the tumors were excised immediately, and tumor cell suspensions were made. The other mice with tumors were returned to the cages and left undisturbed for various times up to 72 h before being sacrificed. Again, tumors were then removed and tumor cell suspensions were prepared. These tumor cells were either challenged with a second heat treatment at 45 degrees C in vitro or labeled with [35S]methionine at 37 degrees C in vitro. The tumor cell survival after the combined heat treatments was measured using the in vitro cloning assay. The cellular proteins were analyzed by one- or two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. We found that mild heat shock induced thermotolerance in murine tumors, a result consistent with those of others. The kinetics of induction and decay of thermotolerance depended on the temperature and duration of the priming treatment. Mild heat shock also enhanced the rate of synthesis and accumulation of some HSPs during the development of thermotolerance. For example, after an initial treatment at 43 degrees C for 15 min, the rates of synthesis of HSPs with molecular weights 68,000, 70,000, and 88,000 were greatly enhanced in SCC VII/SF tumors when compared to unheated controls. Qualitatively similar results were seen with radiation-induced fibrosarcoma tumors. The rate of synthesis of Mr 68,000 to 70,000 HSPs reached maximum value (300% of control value) 2 to 4 h after heat shock and decreased to the control value 6 to 24 h later. On the other hand, the rate of synthesis of actin, a major structural cellular protein, remained relatively constant throughout the 72 h of experiments. We then determined the relationship between the synthesis and accumulation of these HSPs and the expression of thermotolerance in murine tumors after a priming heat treatment. The data indicate that the levels of Mr 68,000 to 70,000 HSPs correlate well with thermotolerance.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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