Phototransduction genes are up-regulated in a global gene expression study of Drosophila melanogaster selected for heat resistance

Cell Stress Chaperones. Winter 2006;11(4):325-33. doi: 10.1379/csc-207.1.


The genetic architecture underlying heat resistance remains partly unclear despite the well-documented involvement of heat shock proteins (Hsps). It was previously shown that factors besides Hsps are likely to play an important role for heat resistance. In this study, gene expression arrays were used to make replicate measurements of gene expression before and up to 64 hours after a mild heat stress treatment, in flies selected for heat resistance and unselected control flies, to identify genes differentially expressed in heat resistance-selected flies. We found 108 genes up-regulated and 10 down-regulated using the Affymetrix gene expression platform. Among the up-regulated genes, a substantial number are involved in the phototransduction process. Another group of genes up-regulated in selected flies is characterized by also responding to heat shock treatment several hours after peak induction of known Hsps revert to nonstress levels. These findings suggest phototransduction genes to be critically involved in heat resistance, and support a role for components of the phototransduction process in stress-sensing mechanisms. In addition, the results suggest yet-uncharacterized genes responding to heat stress several hours after treatment to be involved in heat stress resistance. These findings mark an important increase in the understanding of heat resistance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Hot Temperature*
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Up-Regulation*
  • Vision, Ocular*