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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2002 Apr;92(4):1725-42.

Invited review: Effects of heat and cold stress on mammalian gene expression.

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  • 1Thermal and Mountain Medicine Division, United States Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, Massachusetts 01760, USA.


This review examines the effects of thermal stress on gene expression, with special emphasis on changes in the expression of genes other than heat shock proteins (HSPs). There are approximately 50 genes not traditionally considered to be HSPs that have been shown, by conventional techniques, to change expression as a result of heat stress, and there are <20 genes (including HSPs) that have been shown to be affected by cold. These numbers will likely become much larger as gene chip array and proteomic technologies are applied to the study of the cell stress response. Several mechanisms have been identified by which gene expression may be altered by heat and cold stress. The similarities and differences between the cellular responses to heat and cold may yield key insights into how cells, and by extension tissues and organisms, survive and adapt to stress.

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