The synthesis of diapause-specific molecular chaperones in embryos of Artemia franciscana is determined by the quantity and location of heat shock factor 1 (Hsf1)

  • Jiabo Tan
  • Thomas H. MacRaeEmail author
Original Paper


The crustacean, Artemia franciscana, displays a complex life history in which embryos either arrest development and undertake diapause as cysts or they develop into swimming nauplii. Diapause entry is preceded during embryogenesis by the synthesis of specific molecular chaperones, namely the small heat shock proteins p26, ArHsp21, and ArHsp22, and the ferritin homolog, artemin. Maximal synthesis of diapause-specific molecular chaperones is dependent on the transcription factor, heat shock factor 1 (Hsf1), found in similar amounts in cysts and nauplii newly released from females. This investigation was performed to determine why, if cysts and nauplii contain comparable amounts of Hsf1, only cyst-destined embryos synthesize diapause-specific molecular chaperones. Quantification by qPCR and immunoprobing of Western blots, respectively, demonstrated that hsf1 mRNA and Hsf1 peaked by day 2 post-fertilization in embryos that were developing into cysts and then declined. hsf1 mRNA and Hsf1 were present in nauplii-destined embryos on day 2 post-fertilization, but in much smaller amounts than in cyst-destined embryos, and they increased in quantity until release of nauplii from females. Immunofluorescent staining revealed that the amount of Hsf1 in nuclei was greatest on day 4 post-fertilization in cyst-destined embryos but could not be detected in nuclei of nauplius-destined embryos at this time. The differences in quantity and location of Hsf1 explain why embryos fated to become cysts and eventually enter diapause synthesize p26, ArHsp21, ArHsp22, and artemin, whereas nauplius-destined embryos do not produce these molecular chaperones.


Heat shock factor 1 Transcription factor Molecular chaperone Diapause Artemia franciscana 


Funding information

The work was supported by a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Discovery Grant (Number RGPIN/04882-2016) to THM and by a scholarship from the Chinese Scholarship Council to JT.

Compliance with ethical standards

The research described in this paper was performed in accordance with the ethical guidelines provided by the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC). The University Committee on Laboratory Animals (UCLA) of Dalhousie University approved the research and assigned Protocol Number 117-36.


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Copyright information

© Cell Stress Society International 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada

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