The journal of histochemistry and cytochemistry : official journal of the Histochemistry Society

Down-regulation of heat shock protein HSP90ab1 in radiation-damaged lung cells other than mast cells.

PMID 24670792


Ionizing radiation (IR) leads to fibrosing alveolitis (FA) after a lag period of several weeks to months. In a rat model, FA starts at 8 weeks after IR. Before that, at 5.5 weeks after IR, the transcription factors Sp1 (stimulating protein 1) and AP-1 (activator protein 1) are inactivated. To find genes/proteins that were down-regulated at that time, differentially expressed genes were identified in a subtractive cDNA library and verified by quantitative RT-PCR (reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction), western blotting and immunohistochemistry (IH). The mRNA of the molecular chaperone HSP90AB1 (heat shock protein 90 kDa alpha, class B member 1) was down-regulated 5.5 weeks after IR. Later, when FA manifested, HSP90ab1 protein was down-regulated by more than 90% in lung cells with the exception of mast cells. In most mast cells of the normal lung, both HSP90ab1 and HSP70, another major HSP, show a very low level of expression. HSP70 was massively up-regulated in all mast cells three months after irradiation whereas HSP90AB1 was up-regulated only in a portion of mast cells. The strong changes in the expression of central molecular chaperones may contribute to the well-known disturbance of cellular functions in radiation-damaged lung tissue.