Intracellular localization of Xenopus small heat shock protein; hsp30; in A6 kidney epithelial cells

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Abstract

Small heat shock proteins (shsps) are molecular chaperones that are inducible by environmental stress. In this study, immunocytochemical analysis and laser scanning confocal microscopy revealed that the shsp family, hsp30, was localized primarily in the cytoplasm of Xenopus A6 kidney epithelial cells after heat shock or sodium arsenite treatment. Heat shock-induced hsp30 was enriched in the perinuclear region with some immunostaining in the nucleus but not in the nucleolus. In sodium arsenite-treated cells hsp30 was enriched towards the cytoplasmic periphery as well as showing some immunostaining in the nucleus. At higher heat shock temperatures (35 °C) or after 10 μM sodium arsenite treatment, the actin cytoskeleton displayed some disorganization that co-localized with areas of hsp30 enrichment. Treatment of A6 cells with 50 μM sodium arsenite induced a collapse of the cytoskeleton around the nucleus. These results coupled with previous studies suggest that stress-inducible hsp30 acts as a molecular chaperone primarily in the cytoplasm and may interact with cytoskeletal proteins.

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