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Regulation of protein synthesis during heat shock


When the cells or tissues of most eukaryotes are exposed to elevated temperatures, they respond with the vigorous induction of a small number of ‘heat shock’ proteins (hsps). I report here investigations on the responses of two very different organisms, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Although both organisms achieve a very rapid shift in protein synthesis, they do so in very different ways. In Drosophila, heat shock induces a mechanism of translational control which both promotes the translation of hs mRNAs and specifically represses the translation of pre-existing mRNAs. Yeast cells, in contrast, do not possess a special mechanism to sequester pre-existing messages from translation. Instead, most of these messages simply disappear rapidly from the cell, while those that are retained continue to be translated.

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Lindquist, S. Regulation of protein synthesis during heat shock. Nature 293, 311–314 (1981).

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