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Genetics. 2012 Apr;190(4):1157-95. doi: 10.1534/genetics.111.128033. Epub 2011 Dec 29.

The response to heat shock and oxidative stress in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of Texas Medical School and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


A common need for microbial cells is the ability to respond to potentially toxic environmental insults. Here we review the progress in understanding the response of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to two important environmental stresses: heat shock and oxidative stress. Both of these stresses are fundamental challenges that microbes of all types will experience. The study of these environmental stress responses in S. cerevisiae has illuminated many of the features now viewed as central to our understanding of eukaryotic cell biology. Transcriptional activation plays an important role in driving the multifaceted reaction to elevated temperature and levels of reactive oxygen species. Advances provided by the development of whole genome analyses have led to an appreciation of the global reorganization of gene expression and its integration between different stress regimens. While the precise nature of the signal eliciting the heat shock response remains elusive, recent progress in the understanding of induction of the oxidative stress response is summarized here. Although these stress conditions represent ancient challenges to S. cerevisiae and other microbes, much remains to be learned about the mechanisms dedicated to dealing with these environmental parameters.

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