Polar Biology

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 171–180 | Cite as

The HSP70 heat shock response in the Antarctic fish Harpagifer antarcticus

  • Melody S. ClarkEmail author
  • Keiron P. P. Fraser
  • Gavin Burns
  • Lloyd S. Peck
Original Paper


Members of the HSP70 gene family comprising the constitutive (HSC70) and inducible (HSP70) genes, plus GRP78 (Glucose-regulated protein 78 kDa) were surveyed for expression levels via Q-PCR after both an acute 2-h heat shock experiment and a time course assay in the Antarctic plunderfish Harpagifer antarcticus. In general, down regulation of all genes was observed during the course of the heat shock experiments. This thermally induced down regulation was particularly acute for the GRP78 gene, which at one time point was more than 100-fold down regulated. These results demonstrate the loss of the heat shock response in H. antarcticus, a basal member of the Notothenioidei. This finding is discussed with reference to the survival of Notothenioids during observed ocean warming and also the reorganisation of cellular protein mechanisms of species living in extreme environments.


Antarctic Climate change Stenothermal Heat shock protein Marine 



This paper was produced within the BAS Q3 LATEST and BAS Q4 BIOREACH/BIOFLAME core programmes. The authors would like to thank all members of the Rothera Dive Team for providing samples and to Pete Rothery for statistics advice. Overall diving support was provided by the NERC National Facility for Scientific Diving at Oban.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melody S. Clark
    • 1
    Email author
  • Keiron P. P. Fraser
    • 1
  • Gavin Burns
    • 1
  • Lloyd S. Peck
    • 1
  1. 1.British Antarctic Survey, Natural Environment Research CouncilCambridgeUK

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