Intrinsically disordered proteins are highly abundant in all kingdoms of life, and several protein functional classes, such as transcription factors, transcriptional regulators, hub and scaffold proteins, signaling proteins, and chaperones are especially enriched in intrinsic disorder. One of the unique cellular reactions to protein damaging stress is the socalled heat shock response that results in the upregulation of heat shock proteins including molecular chaperones. This molecular protective mechanism is conserved from prokaryotes to eukaryotes and allows an organism to respond to various proteotoxic stressors, such as heat shock, oxidative stress, exposure to heavy metals, and drugs. The heat shock response- related proteins can be expressed during normal conditions (e.g., during the cell growth and development) or can be induced by various pathological conditions, such as infection, inflammation, and protein conformation diseases. The initiation of the heat shock response is manifested by the activation of the heat shock transcription factors HSF 1, part of a family of related HSF transcription factors. This review analyzes the abundance and functional roles of intrinsic disorder in various heat shock transcription factors and clearly shows that the heat shock response requires HSF flexibility to be more efficient.
Keywords: Intrinsic disorder, heat shock response, heat shock factors, chaperone, IDRs, IDPs, protein quartet, NAC, panencephalitis, DNA-binding
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