Heme oxygenase is not expressed as a stress protein after renal ischemia

Mark S. Paller, Karl A. Nath, Mark E. Rosenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Stressful stimuli such as heat, oxidative stress, heavy metals, and tissue trauma induce the expression of a family of proteins commonly referred to as stress proteins or heat shock proteins. The functions of these proteins are varied but include glycolysis, antioxidant defense, and several postulated "chaperone" functions involving the folding, unfolding, and translocation of other proteins. Heme oxygenase, the enzyme that catalyzes the degradation of heme to biliverdin, is also heat inducible and is, therefore, a heat shock protein. In the kidney, ischemia has been observed by several investigators to induce expression of the more commonly studied heat shock proteins HSP 70 and HSP 72. In addition, exposure of the kidney to myoglobin after glycerol injection induced heme oxygenase. The purpose of this study was to determine whether heme oxygenase is expressed as a stress protein after renal ischemia. Renal ischemia was induced in rats after right nephrectomy by clamping the renal artery for 40 minutes. Gene expression was evaluated after 60 minutes to 96 hours of postischemic reperfusion. There was essentially no expression of heme oxygenase at any of the time points evaluated. The absence of heme oxygenase expression was in striking contrast to the prompt and dramatic expression of HSP 70. This finding is consistent with the concept that all "stress proteins" are not equivalent and that, although there is considerable overlap between heat-sensitive gene promoters and oxidant stress-sensitive gene promoters, there is specificity for the type of stimulus that is able to activate any given stress protein gene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-345
Number of pages5
JournalThe Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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