PROSITE documentation PDOC00381
HSF-type DNA-binding domain signature


Heat shock factor (HSF) is a DNA-binding protein that specifically binds heat shock promoter elements (HSE). HSE is a palindromic element rich with repetitive purine and pyrimidine motifs: 5'-nGAAnnTTCnnGAAnnTTCn-3'. HSF is expressed at normal temperatures but is activated by heat shock or chemical stressors [1,2]. The sequences of HSF from various species show extensive similarity in a region of about 90 amino acids, which has been shown [3] to bind DNA.

Some other proteins also contain a HSF domain, these are:

  • Yeast SFL1, a protein involved in cell surface assembly and regulation of the gene related to flocculation (asexual cell aggregation) [4].
  • Yeast transcription factor SKN7 (or BRY1 or POS9), which binds to the promoter elements SCB and MCB essential for the controal of G1 cyclins expression [5].
  • Yeast MGA1.
  • Yeast hypothetical protein YJR147w.

We have derived a pattern from the most conserved part of the HSF DNA-binding domain, its central region.

Last update:

November 1997 / Pattern and text revised.


Technical section

PROSITE method (with tools and information) covered by this documentation:

HSF_DOMAIN, PS00434; HSF-type DNA-binding domain signature  (PATTERN)


1AuthorsSorger P.K.
TitleHeat shock factor and the heat shock response.
SourceCell 65:363-366(1991).
PubMed ID2018972

2AuthorsMager W.H. Moradas Ferreira P.M.
TitleStress response of yeast.
SourceBiochem. J. 290:1-13(1993).
PubMed ID8439279

3AuthorsVuister G.W. Kim S.-J. Orosz A. Marquardt J. Wu C. Bax A.
TitleSolution structure of the DNA-binding domain of Drosophila heat shock transcription factor.
SourceNat. Struct. Biol. 1:605-614(1994).
PubMed ID7634100

4AuthorsFujita A. Kikuchi Y. Kuhara S. Misumi Y. Matsumoto S. Kobayashi H.
TitleDomains of the SFL1 protein of yeasts are homologous to Myc oncoproteins or yeast heat-shock transcription factor.
SourceGene 85:321-328(1989).
PubMed ID2697640

5AuthorsMorgan B.A. Bouquin N. Merrill G.F. Johnston L.H.
TitleA yeast transcription factor bypassing the requirement for SBF and DSC1/MBF in budding yeast has homology to bacterial signal transduction proteins.
SourceEMBO J. 14:5679-5689(1995).
PubMed ID8521825

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