The Mammalian Heat Shock (or Stress) Response: A Cellular Defense Mechanism

  • William J. Welch
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 225)


All organisms display homeostatic-like responses to adverse changes in their local growth environment. These responses can include temporary modifications of protein function or more long-term changes including altered patterns of gene expression which allow for adaption to the new environmental circumstance. In addition, organisms have also developed what appears to be a pre-planned strategy to confront abrupt changes in their environment such as that experienced during exposure to slightly elevated growth temperatures. This latter response, termed the heat shock response, entails the rapid and preferential synthesis of a group of proteins, the heat shock proteins, whose collective function appears to afford the cell protection until a return of the cell to its normal growth temperature (for reviews, see Ashburner and Bonner, 1979; Schlesinger et al., 1982; Craig, 1985; Subjeck and Shyy, 1986; Lindquist, 1986).


Heat Shock Heat Shock Protein Stress Protein Heat Shock Response Heat Shock Treatment 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • William J. Welch
    • 1
  1. 1.Cold Spring Harbor LaboratoryCold Spring HarborUSA

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