DNA-dependent protein kinase protects against heat-induced apoptosis

Arsenio Nueda, Farlyn Hudson, Nahid F. Mivechi, William S. Dynan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Purified heat shock transcription factor 1 (HSF1) binds to both the regulatory and catalytic components of the DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA- PK). This observation suggests that DNA-PK may have a physiological role in the heat shock response. To investigate this possibility, we performed a comparison of cell lines that were deficient in either the Ku protein or the DNA-PK catalytic subunit versus the same cell lines that had been rescued by the introduction of a functional gene. DNA-PK-negative cell lines were up to 10-fold more sensitive to heat-induced apoptosis than matched DNA-PK-positive cell lines. There may be a regulatory interaction between DNA-PK and HSF1 in vivo, because constitutive overexpression of HSF1 sensitized the DNA-PK- positive cells to heat but had no effect in DNA. PK-negative cells. The initial burst of hsp70 mRNA expression was similar in DNA-PK-negative and - positive cell lines, but the DNA-PK-negative cells showed an attenuated rate of mRNA synthesis at later times and, in some cases, lower heat shock protein expression. These findings provide evidence for an antiapoptotic function of DNA-PK that is experimentally separable from its mechanical role in DNA double strand break repair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14988-14996
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number21
StatePublished - May 21 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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