The levels of the 90 kDa heat-shock protein (hsp90) and the activity of the hsp90β gene promoter are increased in response to treatment by interleukin (IL)-6. The hsp90β gene promoter contains binding sites for the transcription factors nuclear factor IL-6 (NF-IL6) and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT-3), which are activated respectively by the mitogen-activated-protein-kinase and Jak-kinase pathways following IL-6 treatment. Both these factors can activate the hsp90 promoter and have a strong synergistic effect on its activity, which appears to be critical for IL-6-mediated activation of the promoter. Interestingly, the two factors interact differently with the heat-shock factor (HSF) and a heat-shock stress. Thus STAT-3 reduces the stimulatory effect of heat shock whereas NF-IL6 enhances it. When applied together, heat shock and IL-6 produce only weak activation of the hsp90 promoter compared with either stimulus alone, indicating that the inhibitory effect of STAT-3 on HSF predominates under these conditions. In contrast, IL-1, which activates only the NF-IL6 pathway, synergizes with heat shock to produce strong activation of hsp90. These effects are discussed in terms of the multiple stimuli that may regulate the hsp90 promoter in unstressed cells and their interaction with its stress-mediated activation.

This content is only available as a PDF.