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Proc Biol Sci. 2014 Sep 22;281(1791):20141135. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.1135.

Heat shock protein expression enhances heat tolerance of reptile embryos.

Author information

  • 1Key Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Conservation Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, People's Republic of China University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, People's Republic of China.
  • 2Hangzhou Key Laboratory of Animal Adaptation and Evolution, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou 310036, People's Republic of China.
  • 3Key Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Conservation Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, People's Republic of China duweiguo@ioz.ac.cn.

Abstract

The role of heat shock proteins (HSPs) in heat tolerance has been demonstrated in cultured cells and animal tissues, but rarely in whole organisms because of methodological difficulties associated with gene manipulation. By comparing HSP70 expression patterns among representative species of reptiles and birds, and by determining the effect of HSP70 overexpression on embryonic development and hatchling traits, we have identified the role of HSP70 in the heat tolerance of amniote embryos. Consistent with their thermal environment, and high incubation temperatures and heat tolerance, the embryos of birds have higher onset and maximum temperatures for induced HSP70 than do reptiles, and turtles have higher onset and maximum temperatures than do lizards. Interestingly, the trade-off between benefits and costs of HSP70 overexpression occurred between life-history stages: when turtle embryos developed at extreme high temperatures, HSP70 overexpression generated benefits by enhancing embryo heat tolerance and hatching success, but subsequently imposed costs by decreasing heat tolerance of surviving hatchlings. Taken together, the correlative and causal links between HSP70 and heat tolerance provide, to our knowledge, the first unequivocal evidence that HSP70 promotes thermal tolerance of embryos in oviparous amniotes.

KEYWORDS:

HSP70; critical thermal maximum; embryonic development; gene overexpression; thermal adaptation; thermotolerance

PMID:
25080340
PMCID:
PMC4132679
DOI:
10.1098/rspb.2014.1135
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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