Document Type


Publication Date

August 2004


This article was published in the International Journal of Hyperthermia, August 2004, Vol. 20 Number 5, pp. 491-502. ( A subsequent erratum appeared in the International Journal of Hyperthermia, February 2005, Vol. 21 Number 1, p.89.


Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells maintained in vitro at pH 6.7 were used to model cells in the acidic environment of tumours. CHO cells grown at pH 6.7 develop thermotolerance during 42 degrees C heating at pH 6.7 and their cytoskeletal systems are resistant to 42 degrees C-induced perinuclear collapse. Hsp27 levels are elevated in cells grown at pH 6.7 and are further induced during 42 degrees C heating, while Hsp70 levels remain low or undetectable, suggesting that Hsp27 is responsible for some of the novel characteristics of these cells. An anti-sense oligonucleotide strategy was used to test the importance of Hsp27 by lowering heat-induced levels of the protein. The response of the microtubular cytoskeleton to heat was used as an endpoint to assess the effectiveness of the anti-sense strategy. Treatment with anti-sense oligonucleotides prevented the heat-induced increase of Hsp27 levels measured immediately following heat. Treatment with anti-sense oligonucleotides also sensitized the cytoskeleton of cells grown at low pH to heat-induced perinuclear collapse. However, cytoskeletal collapse was not evident in cells grown at pH 6.7 and treated with 4-nt mismatch oligonucleotides or in control cells maintained and heated at pH 6.7. The cytoskeleton collapsed around the nucleus in cells cultured and heated at pH 7.3. These results confirm that over-expression of Hsp27 confers heat protection to the microtubular cytoskeleton in CHO cells grown at low pH.



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