Cdk5rap3, a novel nucleoplasmic shuttle, deeply regulates hsf1‐mediated heat stress response and protects mammary epithelial cells from heat injury

Yangyang Shen, Yan Zou, Jun Li, Fanghui Chen, Honglin Li, Yafei Cai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


CDK5RAP3 was regarded as the most significant regulator of cellular responses against heat stress, which is associated with dysfunctions of the immune system and animal susceptibility to disease. Despite this, little known about how CDK5RAP3 regulates heat stress response. In this study, CDK5RAP3 conditional Knockout (CKO) mice, CDK5RAP3‐/‐ mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEFs) and bovine mammary epithelial cells (BMECs) were used as an in vitro and in vivo model, respectively to reveal the role of CDK5RAP3 in regulating the heat stress response. The deletion of CDK5RAP3 unexpectedly caused animal lethality after 1.5‐h heat stimulations. Furthermore, BMECs were re‐cultured for eight hours after heat stress and was found that the expression of CDK5RAP3 and HSPs showed a similar fluctuating pattern of increase (0–2, 4–6 h) and decrease (2– 4, 6–8 h). In addition to the remarkably enhanced expression of heat shock protein, apoptosis rate and endoplasmic reticulum stress, the deletion of CDK5RAP3 also affected nucleoplasmic translocation and trimer formation of heat shock factor 1 (HSF1). These programs were further confirmed in the mammary gland of CDK5RAP3 CKO mice and CDK5RAP3‐/‐MEFs as well. Interestingly, genetic silencing of HSF1 downregulated CDK5RAP3 expression in BMECs. Immunostaining and immunoprecipitation studies suggested a physical interaction between CDK5RAP3 and HSF1 being co‐localized in the cytoplasm and nucleus. Besides, CDK5RAP3 also interacted with HSP90, suggesting an operative machinery at both transcriptional level and protein functionality of HSP90 per se. Together, our findings suggested that CDK5RAP3 works like a novel nucleoplasmic shuttle or molecular chaperone, deeply participating in HSF1‐mediated heat stress response and protecting cells from heat injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8400
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020


  • CDK5RAP3
  • HSF1
  • HSP90
  • Heat stress response
  • Nucleoplasmic shuttle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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