Glucuronic acid is a novel inducer of heat shock response

Young Mee Kim, Hee Jung Kim, Eun Joo Song, Kong Joo Lee

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21 Scopus citations


The elevated expression of 70 kDa heat shock protein (Hsp70) induces resistance to stress-induced apoptosis. We have screened a variety of natural products for their ability to enhance Hsp70 expression as anti-apoptotic agent. We found that glucuronic acid (GA) induced the synthesis of Hsp70 and that cells pretreated with GA were significantly tolerant to stress including heat shock and hydrogen peroxide. We also found that GA induces the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), a process inhibited by NADPH oxidase inhibitor, diphenyleneiodonium chloride (DPI) and antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC). GA-induced ROS production was also inhibited in RacN17 cell line overexpressing a dominant negative mutant of Rac1. Furthermore, GA treatment induces MAPKs activation (SAPK/JNK and p38) and Hsp70 expression in ROS dependent manner, suggesting that GA turns on the signaling pathway by generation of ROS through Rac1. We analyzed the profiles of newly synthesized proteins by GA with 2-dimensional gel electrophoresis and MALDI-TOF MS and found that two families of proteins were expressed by GA. One was similar to the protein family synthesized by heat shock (Hsp70, Hsp73, Hsp65, Hsp90, vimentin, tubulin, Ras homolog); and the other was a family of protein specific to GA (calreticulin, annexin III, thioredoxin peroxidase). These results suggest that GA-induced stress responses are mediated by ROS generation and are similar, in part, to heat shock-induced responses and GA can be possibly adopted for the protecting agent from cell death.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-33
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Apr 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Dr. James R. Woodgett for providing GST-c-jun 1-89/pGex-2T plasmid, Dr. J.H. Kim for RacN17 stably ex- pressed cell line. This work was supported by KOSEF through the Center for Cell Signaling Research (CCSR) at Ewha Womans University, by the Research fund for Womans University (KISTEP, 1998), by 21C Frontier Functional Human Genome Project (MOST FG-4-14) and by Hanbul Cosmetic Company. Students (Y.M. Kim, E.J. Song and H.-J. Kim) were financially supported by Brain Korea 21 program.


  • Glucuronic acid
  • Heat shock protein
  • MAPK
  • Protein overexpression
  • Proteomics
  • Rac1
  • Reactive oxygen species


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