Role of small heat shock protein HSP25 in radioresistance and glutathione-redox cycle

Sun Hee Baek, Jin Na Min, Eun Mi Park, Mi Young Han, Yun Sil Lee, Yong J. Lee, Young Mee Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Expression of heat shock proteins (HSPs) has been shown to protect mammalian cells exposed to a variety of stress stimuli. Among various HSPs, small HSPs from diverse species were shown to protect cells against oxidative stress. Here, we show that the overexpression of the mouse small hsp gene, hsp25, provides protection against ionizing radiation. Our results demonstrate that the radiation survival of the L929 cells stably transfected with hsp25 was enhanced compared with that of the parental or vector transfected control, L25 1 cells. Our results also demonstrate that the radiation-induced apoptosis was reduced in HSP25 overexpressors. A detailed analysis of glutathione composition of those clones that overexpressed HSP25 revealed the increases of the glutathione pool, which primarily resulted from the increase of reduced glutathione. Our data suggest that higher content of GSH in HSP25 overexpressors was because of a faster reduction of oxidized glutathione (GSSG) to GSH rather than an increased de novo synthesis of GSH. The activities of glutathione reductase (GRd) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) were greater in HSP25 overexpressors but the activity of γ- glutamylcysteine synthetase was similar between the transfectants and the control cells. Consistent with our view, a steady state ratio of the GSH/GSSG was greater in the transfectants in comparison with the control L25 1 cells. A difference in the relative ratio became more significant after exposure to the ionizing radiation. To our knowledge, this study provides the first experimental evidence in support of the hypothesis that small HSP plays a key role in radioresistance by modulating the metabolism of glutathione. Based on the results obtained from the current investigation, we propose that HSP25 helps facilitate the glutathione-redox cycle and therefore, enhances glutathione utilization and maintains the cellular glutathione pool in favor of the reduced states. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-107
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000


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