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Yeast. 1992 Feb;8(2):95-106.

The small heat-shock protein Hsp26 of Saccharomyces cerevisiae assembles into a high molecular weight aggregate.

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Biological Laboratory, University of Kent, Canterbury, U.K.


Hsp26 is one of the major small heat-shock proteins (Hsp) of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, yet its cellular role remains to be discovered. To examine the cellular consequences of overexpression of Hsp26, the gene encoding this protein (HSP26) was overexpressed from a multicopy plasmid using either its own promoter or by coupling it to the efficient constitutive PGK promoter. The PGK promoter provided the opportunity to overexpress Hsp26 under non-stress conditions and such high level synthesis, prior to a lethal heat shock (50 degrees C), gave a small but reproducible elevation in thermotolerance. In transformed strains overexpressing Hsp26 under either stressed or non-stress conditions, the Hsp26 polypeptide was recovered almost exclusively as a high molecular weight aggregate. This high molecular weight aggregate (or heat-shock granule; HSG) was purified by differential centrifugation and sucrose gradient density centrifugation and shown, by electron microscopic analysis, to be of a uniform size (15-25 nm diameter). Analysis of the purified HSG demonstrated that it had a molecular weight of 550 kDa, yet contained no other integral polypeptides or other macromolecules.

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