Proteomic profiling of thermal acclimation in Drosophila melanogaster

Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2013 Apr;43(4):352-65. doi: 10.1016/j.ibmb.2013.01.006. Epub 2013 Feb 13.


Thermal acclimation drastically alters thermotolerance of ectotherms, but the mechanisms determining this plastic response are not fully understood. The present study investigates the proteomic response (2D-DIGE) of adult Drosophila melanogaster acclimated at 11, 25 or 31 °C. As expected 11 °C-acclimation improved cold tolerance and 31 °C-acclimation improved heat tolerance. We hypothesized that the marked organismal responses to acclimation could be detected at the proteomic level assuming that changes in the abundance of specific proteins are linked to the physiological changes underlying the phenotypic response. The 31 °C-acclimated flies displayed a particular divergent proteomic profile where molecular chaperones made up a large number of the proteins that were modulated during heat acclimation. Many other proteins showed significant modulation during acclimation including proteins involved in iron ion and cell redox homeostasis, carbohydrate and energy metabolism, chromatin remodeling and translation, and contractile machinery. Interestingly the changes in protein abundance were often unrelated to transcriptional activity of the genes coding for the proteins, except for the most strongly expressed proteins (e.g. Hsp70). The 11 °C-acclimation evoked weak proteomic response despite the marked effect on the organismal phenotype. Thus the acquired cold tolerance observed here may involve regulatory process such as posttranslational regulation rather than de novo protein synthesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acclimatization
  • Animals
  • Drosophila Proteins / chemistry
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism
  • Drosophila melanogaster / chemistry
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Hot Temperature
  • Male
  • Proteomics
  • Two-Dimensional Difference Gel Electrophoresis


  • Drosophila Proteins