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Gene. 2002 Aug 7;295(2):173-83.

Heat shock protein genes and their functional significance in fish.

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  • 1Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and AquaNet, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.


Despite decades of intensive investigation, important questions remain regarding the functional, ecological, and evolutionary roles of heat shock proteins. In this paper, we discuss the utility of fish as a model system to address these questions, and review the relevant studies of heat shock protein genes and the regulation of their expression in fish. Although molecular studies of the heat shock proteins in fish are still in their early descriptive phase, data are rapidly being collected. More is known about the biotic and abiotic factors regulating heat shock proteins. We briefly review these studies and focus on the role of heat shock proteins in development, their regulation by the endocrine system, and their importance in fish in nature. Functional genomics approaches will provide the tools necessary to gain a comprehensive understanding of the significance of heat shock proteins in the cellular stress response, in the physiological processes at higher levels of organization, and in the whole animal in its natural environment.

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