University of Kentucky

Poster Title

Expression and Function of HSF2 during Xenopus Development

Institution

University of Kentucky

Abstract

Heat shock factors (HSFs) regulate the transcription of heat shock proteins, which are expressed in response to stress stimuli. There is a debate about the role of one of these factors, HSF2, during development. HSF2 knockouts in mice have been shown to display prenatal lethality, brain abnormalities, reduced female fertility, reduced spermatogenesis, and altered heat shock response. Another study showed no difference in morphology, behavior, or life span between wild type and HSF2 null mice. In order to help resolve this debate and to potentially display a conserved role for HSF2 in development, we will study HSF2 expression patterns in Xenopus laevis tadpoles. Western blot analysis will be performed comparing HSF2 and sumoylated HSF2 levels during different stages of development. SUMO-modification of HSF2 is necessary to convert it into its active DNA-binding form. Therefore, both the level of HSF2 and the level of SUMOmodification are indicative of its activity in the developing tadpole. The effects of lowering HSF2 levels with RNA interference (RNAi) will subsequently be studied. Factors such as gross morphology, motility, and viability will be evaluated throughout development.

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Expression and Function of HSF2 during Xenopus Development

Heat shock factors (HSFs) regulate the transcription of heat shock proteins, which are expressed in response to stress stimuli. There is a debate about the role of one of these factors, HSF2, during development. HSF2 knockouts in mice have been shown to display prenatal lethality, brain abnormalities, reduced female fertility, reduced spermatogenesis, and altered heat shock response. Another study showed no difference in morphology, behavior, or life span between wild type and HSF2 null mice. In order to help resolve this debate and to potentially display a conserved role for HSF2 in development, we will study HSF2 expression patterns in Xenopus laevis tadpoles. Western blot analysis will be performed comparing HSF2 and sumoylated HSF2 levels during different stages of development. SUMO-modification of HSF2 is necessary to convert it into its active DNA-binding form. Therefore, both the level of HSF2 and the level of SUMOmodification are indicative of its activity in the developing tadpole. The effects of lowering HSF2 levels with RNA interference (RNAi) will subsequently be studied. Factors such as gross morphology, motility, and viability will be evaluated throughout development.