Does the membrane's physical state control the expression of heat shock and other genes?

Trends Biochem Sci. 1998 Oct;23(10):369-74. doi: 10.1016/s0968-0004(98)01279-1.


Membranes provide the structural framework that divides cells from their environment and that, in eukaryotic cells, permits compartmentation. They are not simply passive barriers that are liable to be damaged during environmental challenge or pathological states, but are involved in cellular responses and in modulating intracellular signalling. Recent data show that the expression of several genes, particularly those that respond to changes in temperature, ageing or disease, is influenced and/or controlled by the membrane's physical state.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Fluidity
  • Membrane Lipids / chemistry*
  • Membrane Lipids / metabolism*
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membranes / chemistry
  • Membranes / metabolism
  • Temperature


  • Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Membrane Lipids
  • Membrane Proteins