Journal of Biosciences

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 471–487 | Cite as

Heat stress response in plants: a complex game with chaperones and more than twenty heat stress transcription factors

  • Sanjeev Kumar Baniwal
  • Kapil Bharti
  • Kwan Yu Chan
  • Markus Fauth
  • Arnab Ganguli
  • Sachin Kotak
  • Shravan Kumar Mishra
  • Lutz Nover
  • Markus Port
  • Klaus-Dieter Scharf
  • Joanna Tripp
  • Christian Weber
  • Dirk Zielinski
  • Pascal von Koskull-DÖring


Compared to the overall multiplicity of more than 20 plant Hsfs, detailed analyses are mainly restricted to tomato and Arabidopsis and to three important representatives of the family (Hsfs A1, A2 and B1). The three Hsfs represent examples of striking functional diversification specialized for the three phases of the heat stress (hs) response (triggering, maintenance and recovery). This is best illustrated for the tomato Hsf system: (i) HsfA1a is the master regulator responsible for hs-induced gene expression including synthesis of HsfA2 and HsfB1. It is indispensible for the development of thermotolerance. (ii) Although functionally equivalent to HsfA1a, HsfA2 is exclusively found after hs induction and represents the dominant Hsf, the “working horse” of the hs response in plants subjected to repeated cycles of hs and recovery in a hot summer period. Tomato HsfA2 is tightly integrated into a network of interacting proteins (HsfA1a, Hsp17-CII, Hsp17-CI) influencing its activity and intracellular distribution. (iii) Because of structural peculiarities, HsfB1 acts as coregulator enhancing the activity of HsfA1a and/or HsfA2. But in addition, it cooperates with yet to be identified other transcription factors in maintaining and/or restoring housekeeping gene expression.


Chaperones heat stress transcription factors plant heat stress response thermotolerance 

Abbreviations used


binding protein




histone acetyl transferase


heat stress


heat stress promoter elements


heat stress granules


heat stress protein


nuclear export signal


nuclear localization signal




wild type


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sanjeev Kumar Baniwal
    • 1
  • Kapil Bharti
    • 2
  • Kwan Yu Chan
    • 1
  • Markus Fauth
    • 1
  • Arnab Ganguli
    • 1
  • Sachin Kotak
    • 1
  • Shravan Kumar Mishra
    • 3
  • Lutz Nover
    • 1
  • Markus Port
    • 1
  • Klaus-Dieter Scharf
    • 1
  • Joanna Tripp
    • 1
  • Christian Weber
    • 1
  • Dirk Zielinski
    • 1
  • Pascal von Koskull-DÖring
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Molecular Cell BiologyGoethe University FrankfurtFrankfurt/M.Germany
  2. 2.Lab. Developmental Neurogenetics NINDSBethesdaUSA
  3. 3.Molecular Cell BiologyMPI für BiochemieMartinsriedGermany

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