Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1990 Aug;87(15):5589-93.

Ribosomes as sensors of heat and cold shock in Escherichia coli.

Author information

  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109-0620.


Nearly all cells respond to an increase in temperature by inducing a set of proteins, called heat shock proteins (HSPs). Because a large number of other stress conditions induce the HSPs (or at least the most abundant ones), this response is often termed the universal stress response. However, a careful study of conditions that truly mimic a temperature shift suggested that these proteins are induced in response to a change in the translational capacity of the cell. To test this directly, Escherichia coli cells were treated with antibiotics that target the prokaryotic ribosome. Two-dimensional gels were used to evaluate the ability of these drugs to alter the rate of synthesis of the HSPs. One group of antibiotics induced the HSPs, whereas a second group repressed the HSPs and induced another set of proteins normally induced in response to a cold shock. Depending on the concentration used, the induction of the heat or cold shock proteins mimicked a mild or severe temperature shift. In addition, antibiotics of the cold shock-inducing group were found to block high temperature induction of the HSPs. The results implicate the ribosome as a prokaryotic sensor for the heat and cold shock response networks, a role it may serve in eukaryotes as well.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk