New candidate genes for heat resistance in Drosophila melanogaster are regulated by HSF

Cell Stress Chaperones. Summer 2008;13(2):177-82. doi: 10.1007/s12192-008-0020-x. Epub 2008 Feb 14.


The cellular heat stress response is well studied in Drosophila in respect to the role of heat shock proteins (Hsp). Hsps are molecular chaperones, highly expressed during and after exposure to numerous stress types. Hsps are all regulated by a common transcription factor, the heat shock factor (HSF), and it is known that HSF is controlling other, so far uncharacterised, heat-responsive genes. In this study, we investigate whether novel candidate genes for heat resistance, identified by microarray experiments, are regulated by HSF. The microarray experiments recently identified several strongly upregulated genes in response to a short, non-lethal heat treatment in Drosophila melanogaster. To test whether or not a subset of these genes are HSF-induced, we studied 11 currently unannotated genes using quantitative polymerase chain reaction on HSF mutant flies with a non-functional HSF at elevated temperatures. We found indication of HSF regulation in most of the studied genes, suggesting a role of these unknown genes in heat tolerance. Surprisingly, some of the genes seemed to be upregulated independent of HSF function. The high induction in response to heat, which mimics the expression profile of Hsps, implies a role in the cellular heat response of these genes as well.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / deficiency
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Drosophila Proteins / deficiency
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins / physiology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Heat Shock Transcription Factors
  • Hot Temperature / adverse effects*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Stress, Physiological / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / deficiency
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Heat Shock Transcription Factors
  • Hsf protein, Drosophila
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Transcription Factors