Molecular and General Genetics MGG

, Volume 210, Issue 3, pp 407–412

Protein synthesis patterns following stage-specific heat shock in early Drosophila embryo

  • Susan Eberlein
  • Herschel K. Mitchell

DOI: 10.1007/BF00327190

Cite this article as:
Eberlein, S. & Mitchell, H.K. Mol Gen Genet (1987) 210: 407. doi:10.1007/BF00327190


Very short heat shocks are administered to carefully staged early embryos of Drosophila melanogaster, and the effects on protein synthesis pattern investigated. A shock as short as 2 min will induce the heat shock response (reduction of normal protein synthesis, increased synthesis of the heat shock proteins) in syncytial blastoderm or later stages. Thus the initial events of the heat shock response must occur within 2 min, and not reverse upon rapid return to 22° C. A low level of synthesis of the 70 kDa heat shock protein is sometimes visible in unshocked animals, but may be induced by the labeling procedure. Survival following a short shock is not strictly correlated with a high level of heat shock response. Pre-blastoderm embryos do not produce significant heat shock protein, but survive a 2 min 43°C heat shock better than do heat shock response competent blastoderm embryos. The protein synthesis pattern prior to the blastoderm stage is very stable, possibly enhancing survival following a short shock. Shocks of 3 min or longer are more detrimental to pre-blastoderm embryos than to later stages, confirming the role of the heat shock response in survival following a longer shock. Stage-specific developmental defects (phenocopies) may be induced by heat shock at the blastoderm or later stages. Induction of these defects may require disruption of the normal protein synthesis pattern. Use of very short heat shocks to induce the heat shock response will be valuable in identifying the precise time at which a specific defect can be induced.

Key words

Drosophila Embryogenesis Heat shock protein synthesis 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Eberlein
    • 1
  • Herschel K. Mitchell
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Biology, 156-29California Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA
  2. 2.Jet Propulsion Laboratory 168-522California Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA

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