Hsp72 expression enhances survival in adenosine triphosphate-depleted renal epithelial cells

Y. H. Wang, Anne A Knowlton, F. H. Li, S. C. Borkan

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28 Scopus citations


Although prior heat stress (HS) inhibits apoptosis in adenosine phosphate (ATP)-depleted renal epithelial cells (REC), the specific stress protein(s) responsible for cytoprotection have not been identified. The present study evaluated the hypothesis that Hsp72, the major inducible member of the Hsp70 family, protects REC against ATP depletion injury. In the presence of isopropyl-β-D-thiogalactoside (IPTG), a stable line of transfected opossum kidney cells was induced to overexpress human Hsp72 tagged with the flag epitope. Transfected cells from 2 clones that expressed Hsp72 at a level comparable with wild-type cells were subjected to transient heat stress (43°C for 1 hour). To assess the cytoprotective effect of Hsp72, transfected cells were subjected to transient ATP depletion followed by recovery in the presence vs the absence of IPTG. ATP depletion resulted in nuclear chromatin condensation without cell membrane injury (ie, minimal leak of lactate dehydrogenase) and activation of caspase-3, confirming that apoptosis is the major cause of cell death. In both clones cell survival 1-3 days after ATP depletion was significantly improved in the presence of IPTG. Selective overexpression of Hsp72 reproduced nearly 60% of the protective effect on the survival afforded by prior heat stress. In transfected cells subjected to ATP depletion, Hsp72 overexpression significantly inhibited caspase activation. In native renal cells brief ATP depletion markedly induced the expression of native Hsp72, a finding identical to that observed after renal ischemia in vivo. These studies are the first to directly show that Hsp72 per se mediates acquired resistance to ischemic injury in REC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-145
Number of pages9
JournalCell Stress and Chaperones
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry


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