Identification of a 66 kD heat shock protein (HSP) induced in M-14 human melanoma cells by severe hyperthermic treatment

A. Delpino, P. Spinsanti, E. Mattei, A. M. Mileo, D. Vismara, U. Ferrini

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Following severe hyperthermic treatment M-14 cells synthesize at high rate a new protein of about 66 kD, in addition to the three well known major HSPs (HSP 28, HSP 70 and HSP 90). This 66 kD protein is constitutively expressed at low levels and its rate of synthesis is not enhanced by mild hyperthermic exposures (40°C for 2-4 h; 42°C for 1-3 h), sufficient to induce the three major HSPs. The 66 kD protein is induced whenever the thermal dose administered to cells attains a threshold, roughly corresponding to a 50% reduction in survival. The 66 kDa protein is not induced by a variety of compounds (disulfiram, arsenate, cadmium) able to elicit a stress response in M-14 cells, as indicated by enhanced synthesis of the three major HSPs. Once induced by a treatment at 45°C for 15 min, the rate of synthesis of the 66 kD protein remains above the control level for 16-20 h during recovery from the stress, while the synthesis of HSP 70 is shut off between 8 and 12 h. Immunoblotting and immunoprecipitation studies showed that the 66 kD protein shares immunological determinant(s) with HSP 70. Pulse-chase experiments demonstrated that the 66 kD protein is not a degradation product or a late post-transcriptional modification of HSP 70. It is proposed that the 66 kD protein is a previously unrecognized heat shock protein (HSP 66), characterized by an unusually high threshold for its induction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-375
Number of pages7
JournalMelanoma Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1992


  • Heat shock proteins
  • Human melanoma cells
  • Severe hyperthermic treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Dermatology
  • Oncology


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