The Induction of the Heat Shock Response: Activation and Expression of Chimaeric Heat Shock Genes in Transgenic Plants
The heat shock (hs) response is a highly conserved, almost universal genetic system in living organisms. This response appears to have a protective function for many types of cells and tissues which have been exposed to heat stress, but also certain other chemical and physico-chemical stressors have the capacity to elicit the hs response (for reviews see Neumann et al., 1989; Lindquist and Craig, 1988; Schöffl et al., 1988). Hence, stressed cells seem to seek protection from the detrimental effects of environmental stress, at least to some extent, by the hs response. In physical terms, the stressor is an external force causing an internal strain. The adoption of these terms to biological systems has changed the meaning in a way that the term stress is used for “any environmental factor potentially unfavourable to living organism” and “strain is any physical or chemical change produced by a stress” (Levitt, 1980). The term hs response is commonly used for the reprogramming of cellular activities which is rapidly induced by heat stress. One important feature of this response is the cte novo synthesis of a number of hs proteins (hsps). Following severe but sublethal heat stress, cells are able to recover and they may even tolerate a subsequent, higher dosage of the stressor.
KeywordsHeat Shock Heat Shock Response Heat Shock Factor Heat Shock Transcription Factor Heat Shock Gene
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