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      Transcriptional profiling of Arabidopsis heat shock proteins and transcription factors reveals extensive overlap between heat and non-heat stress response pathways


      , 1 , 1 , 2

      BMC Genomics

      BioMed Central

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          The heat shock response of Arabidopsis thaliana is dependent upon a complex regulatory network involving twenty-one known transcription factors and four heat shock protein families. It is known that heat shock proteins (Hsps) and transcription factors (Hsfs) are involved in cellular response to various forms of stress besides heat. However, the role of Hsps and Hsfs under cold and non-thermal stress conditions is not well understood, and it is unclear which types of stress interact least and most strongly with Hsp and Hsf response pathways. To address this issue, we have analyzed transcriptional response profiles of Arabidopsis Hsfs and Hsps to a range of abiotic and biotic stress treatments (heat, cold, osmotic stress, salt, drought, genotoxic stress, ultraviolet light, oxidative stress, wounding, and pathogen infection) in both above and below-ground plant tissues.


          All stress treatments interact with Hsf and Hsp response pathways to varying extents, suggesting considerable cross-talk between heat and non-heat stress regulatory networks. In general, Hsf and Hsp expression was strongly induced by heat, cold, salt, and osmotic stress, while other types of stress exhibited family or tissue-specific response patterns. With respect to the Hsp20 protein family, for instance, large expression responses occurred under all types of stress, with striking similarity among expression response profiles. Several genes belonging to the Hsp20, Hsp70 and Hsp100 families were specifically upregulated twelve hours after wounding in root tissue, and exhibited a parallel expression response pattern during recovery from heat stress. Among all Hsf and Hsp families, large expression responses occurred under ultraviolet-B light stress in aerial tissue (shoots) but not subterranean tissue (roots).


          Our findings show that Hsf and Hsp family member genes represent an interaction point between multiple stress response pathways, and therefore warrant functional analysis under conditions apart from heat shock treatment. In addition, our analysis revealed several family and tissue-specific heat shock gene expression patterns that have not been previously described. These results have implications regarding the molecular basis of cross-tolerance in plant species, and raise new questions to be pursued in future experimental studies of the Arabidopsis heat shock response network.

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          Most cited references 77

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          Heat-shock proteins, molecular chaperones, and the stress response: evolutionary and ecological physiology.

          Molecular chaperones, including the heat-shock proteins (Hsps), are a ubiquitous feature of cells in which these proteins cope with stress-induced denaturation of other proteins. Hsps have received the most attention in model organisms undergoing experimental stress in the laboratory, and the function of Hsps at the molecular and cellular level is becoming well understood in this context. A complementary focus is now emerging on the Hsps of both model and nonmodel organisms undergoing stress in nature, on the roles of Hsps in the stress physiology of whole multicellular eukaryotes and the tissues and organs they comprise, and on the ecological and evolutionary correlates of variation in Hsps and the genes that encode them. This focus discloses that (a) expression of Hsps can occur in nature, (b) all species have hsp genes but they vary in the patterns of their expression, (c) Hsp expression can be correlated with resistance to stress, and (d) species' thresholds for Hsp expression are correlated with levels of stress that they naturally undergo. These conclusions are now well established and may require little additional confirmation; many significant questions remain unanswered concerning both the mechanisms of Hsp-mediated stress tolerance at the organismal level and the evolutionary mechanisms that have diversified the hsp genes.
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            Abiotic stress, the field environment and stress combination.

             Ron Mittler (2005)
            Farmers and breeders have long known that often it is the simultaneous occurrence of several abiotic stresses, rather than a particular stress condition, that is most lethal to crops. Surprisingly, the co-occurrence of different stresses is rarely addressed by molecular biologists that study plant acclimation. Recent studies have revealed that the response of plants to a combination of two different abiotic stresses is unique and cannot be directly extrapolated from the response of plants to each of the different stresses applied individually. Tolerance to a combination of different stress conditions, particularly those that mimic the field environment, should be the focus of future research programs aimed at developing transgenic crops and plants with enhanced tolerance to naturally occurring environmental conditions.
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              Transcriptome changes for Arabidopsis in response to salt, osmotic, and cold stress.

              To identify genes of potential importance to cold, salt, and drought tolerance, global expression profiling was performed on Arabidopsis plants subjected to stress treatments of 4 degrees C, 100 mM NaCl, or 200 mM mannitol, respectively. RNA samples were collected separately from leaves and roots after 3- and 27-h stress treatments. Profiling was conducted with a GeneChip microarray with probe sets for approximately 8,100 genes. Combined results from all three stresses identified 2,409 genes with a greater than 2-fold change over control. This suggests that about 30% of the transcriptome is sensitive to regulation by common stress conditions. The majority of changes were stimulus specific. At the 3-h time point, less than 5% (118 genes) of the changes were observed as shared by all three stress responses. By 27 h, the number of shared responses was reduced more than 10-fold (< 0.5%), consistent with a progression toward more stimulus-specific responses. Roots and leaves displayed very different changes. For example, less than 14% of the cold-specific changes were shared between root and leaves at both 3 and 27 h. The gene with the largest induction under all three stress treatments was At5g52310 (LTI/COR78), with induction levels in roots greater than 250-fold for cold, 40-fold for mannitol, and 57-fold for NaCl. A stress response was observed for 306 (68%) of the known circadian controlled genes, supporting the hypothesis that an important function of the circadian clock is to "anticipate" predictable stresses such as cold nights. Although these results identify hundreds of potentially important transcriptome changes, the biochemical functions of many stress-regulated genes remain unknown.

                Author and article information

                BMC Genomics
                BMC Genomics
                BioMed Central (London )
                22 May 2007
                : 8
                : 125
                [1 ]Department of Statistics and Probability, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
                [2 ]Department of Plant Biology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
                Copyright © 2007 Swindell et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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