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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Thermal analysis of CHL V79 cells using differential scanning calorimetry: implications for hyperthermic cell killing and the heat shock response.

Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) was used to assay thermal transitions that might be responsible for cell death and other responses to hyperthermia or heat shock, such as induction of heat shock proteins (HSP), in whole Chinese hamster lung V79 cells. Seven distinct peaks, six of which are irreversible, with transition temperatures from 49.5 degrees C to 98.9 degrees C are detectable. These primarily represent protein denaturation with minor contributions from DNA and RNA melting. The onset temperature of denaturation, 38.7 degrees C, is shifted to higher temperatures by prior heat shock at 43 degrees and 45 degrees C, indicative of irreversible denaturation occurring at these temperatures. Thus, using DSC it is possible to demonstrate significant denaturation in a mammalian cell line at temperatures and times of exposure sufficient to induce hyperthermic damage and HSP synthesis. A model was developed based on the assumption that the rate limiting step of hyperthermic cell killing is the denaturation of a critical target. A transition temperature of 46.3 degrees C is predicted for the critical target in V79 cells. No distinct transition is detectable by DSC at this temperature, implying that the critical target comprises a small fraction of total denaturable material. The short chain alcohols methanol, ethanol, isopropanol, and t-butanol are known hyperthermic sensitizers and ethanol is an inducer of HSP synthesis. These compounds non-specifically lower the denaturation temperature of cellular protein. Glycerol, a hyperthermic protector, non-specifically raises the denaturation temperature for proteins denaturing below 60 degrees C. Thus, there is a correlation between the effect of these compounds on protein denaturation in vivo and their effect on cellular sensitivity to hyperthermia.[1]


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