Regulation of HSF1 function in the heat stress response: implications in aging and disease

Julius Anckar, Lea Sistonen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Article or Literature Reviewpeer-review


To dampen proteotoxic stresses and maintain protein homeostasis, organisms possess a stress-responsive molecular machinery that detects and neutralizes protein damage. A prominent feature of stressed cells is the increased synthesis of heat shock proteins (Hsps) that aid in the refolding of misfolded peptides and restrain protein aggregation. Transcriptional activation of the heat shock response is orchestrated by heat shock factor 1 (HSF1), which rapidly translocates to hsp genes and induces their expression. Although the role of HSF1 in protecting cells and organisms against severe stress insults is well established, many aspects of how HSF1 senses qualitatively and quantitatively different forms of stresses have remained poorly understood. Moreover, recent discoveries that HSF1 controls life span have prompted new ways of thinking about an old transcription factor. Here, we review the established role of HSF1 in counteracting cell stress and prospect the role of HSF1 as a regulator of disease states and aging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1089-115
Number of pages27
JournalAnnual Review of Biochemistry
Publication statusPublished - 2011
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


  • Aging/physiology
  • Animals
  • DNA-Binding Proteins/genetics
  • Disease
  • Heat Shock Transcription Factors
  • Heat-Shock Response/physiology
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Signal Transduction/physiology
  • Transcription Factors/genetics
  • Transcriptional Activation


Dive into the research topics of 'Regulation of HSF1 function in the heat stress response: implications in aging and disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this