The Heat Shock Transcriptional Response

  • Paul E. Kroeger
  • Richard I. Morimoto
Part of the Progress in Gene Expression book series (PRGE)


The heat shock response represents one of the most dramatic changes in gene expression and has served as a paradigm for inducible transcriptional responses. The response to temperature elevation, exposure to toxic agents, or other physiological stresses is universal and mediated through the induction of a highly conserved set of genes referred to as heat shock (HS) genes (Lindquist, 1986; Lindquist and Craig, 1988; Morimoto and Milarski, 1990; Morimoto, 1993; Morimoto et al, 1994). Studies in the early 1970’s had revealed that the elevation of temperature induces the synthesis of new polypeptides. It had been recognized early that these newly synthesized HS proteins (HSPs) are important to the survival response mounted by the cell. Perhaps the most significant effect of HS is on transcription. As the severity of the HS increases, the transcription of most genes is repressed and the genes coding for HSPs are transcriptionally induced 50 to 100-fold within minutes. HS has additional effects on mRNA stability and translational control which contribute to the preferential expression of HSPs (Lindquist, 1980; Storti et al, 1980; Banerji et al, 1984; Lindquist and Craig, 1988).


Heat Shock HSP70 Gene Heat Shock Response Heat Shock Factor Heat Shock Factor 
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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Boston 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul E. Kroeger
  • Richard I. Morimoto

There are no affiliations available

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