Differential HSP90α expression in fish hepatocytes from polluted estuary during summer


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The molecular chaperone, heat shock protein 90α (HSP90α), plays an important role in protein folding, degradation of denatured proteins and steroid activation. It is essential for the maintenance of cellular integrity and survival when induced in response to environmental, physical and chemical stresses. In the present investigation the effect of environmental stress on HSP90α expression was examined in grey mullet Mugil cephalus living in either a contaminated (Ennore) or uncontaminated (Kovalam) estuary over two seasons. Hepatocytes were isolated from grey mullet of both estuaries. Oxidative stress was determined along with HSP90α in these fish. Additionally, immunohistochemical changes were studied to confirm the HSP90α expression. Comparison of the results revealed enhanced hepatocyte oxidative stress and HSP90α expressions in fish from Ennore to a significant extent than fish from Kovalam. Also, the results showed significant seasonal variations with maximum expression observed during summer compared to the monsoon season. Overexpression of HSP90α in hepatocytes exposed to chronic environmental stress by pollutants may confer differential effects on cell survival by protecting against oxidative stress induced changes. The results also indicate that seasonal variations have significant effect on the HSP90α expression.