Increased NFAT5 expression stimulates transcription of Hsp70 in preeclamptic placentas

J K Park, T G Kang, M Y Kang, J E Park, I A Cho, J K Shin, W J Choi, S A Lee, W S Choi, H M Kwon, J H Lee, W Y Paik
Placenta 2014, 35 (2): 109-16

OBJECTIVE: We investigated the expression of heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70), nuclear factor of activated T cells 5 (NFAT5), and hypoxia-induced factor-1α (HIF-1α) in the placentas of normal and preeclamptic pregnancies and in human placental hypoxia models in vitro to examine the regulatory mechanisms of placental Hsp70 expression.

METHODS: The expression levels of HIF-1α, NFAT5, and Hsp70 were examined in placental samples from 10 females with preeclampsia and 10 normotensive control patients and in human choriocarcinoma trophoblast cells treated with 1 mM CoCl2 by western blotting. Using models of placental hypoxia, pharmacological inhibition of HIF-1α with chetomin and shRNA knockdown and overexpression of NFAT5 were performed to investigate the roles of HIF-1α and NFAT5 in induction of Hsp70 by placental hypoxia.

RESULTS: The levels of HIF-1α, NFAT5, and Hsp70 expression were significantly higher in the preeclamptic compared to normal placentas. In the placental hypoxia models, the expression of HIF-1α, NFAT5, and Hsp70 were significantly higher after 3, 6, and 12 h of 1 mM CoCl2 treatment, respectively. Pharmacological inhibition of HIF-1α suppressed the induction of NFAT5 and Hsp70 at the protein level. shRNA knockdown of NFAT5 suppressed the induction of Hsp70 protein and overexpression of NFAT5 stimulated the induction of Hsp70 mRNA and protein in models of human placental hypoxia in vitro.

CONCLUSION: HIF-1α positively regulates the induction of NFAT5 and Hsp70 by placental hypoxia and NFAT5 stimulates transcription of Hsp70 in response to placental hypoxia in models of human placental hypoxia in vitro.

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