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Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

Genome wide analysis of common and specific stress responses in adult drosophila melanogaster

Fabrice Girardot12, Véronique Monnier1 and Hervé Tricoire1*

Author affiliations

1 Institut Jacques Monod, 2 place Jussieu, 75251 Paris, France

2 Present address: Equipe de Biologie Virtuelle, UMR 6543, Universilé de Nice, Parc Valrose, 06108 Nice Cedex 2, France

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Citation and License

BMC Genomics 2004, 5:74  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-5-74

Published: 30 September 2004



During their life, multicellular organisms are challenged with oxidative stress. It is generated by several reactive oxygen species (ROS), may limit lifespan and has been related to several human diseases. ROS can generate a wide variety of defects in many cellular components and thus the response of the organism challenged with oxidative stress may share some features with other stress responses. Conversely, in spite of recent progress, a complete functional analysis of the transcriptional responses to different oxidative stresses in model organisms is still missing. In addition, the functional significance of observed transcriptional changes is still elusive.


We used oligonucleotide microarrays to address the specificities of transcriptional responses of adult Drosophila to different stresses induced by paraquat and H2O2, two oxidative stressors, and by tunicamycin which induces an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Both specific and common responses to the three stressors were observed and whole genome functional analysis identified several important classes of stress responsive genes. Within some functional classes, we observed that isozymes do not all behave similarly, which may reflect unsuspected functional specificities. Moreover, genetic experiments performed on a subset of lines bearing mutations in genes identified in microarray experiments showed that a significant number of these mutations may affect resistance of adult Drosophila to oxidative stress.


A long term common stress response to paraquat- or H2O2-induced oxidative stresses and ER stress is observed for a significant number of genes. Besides this common response, the unexpected complexity of the stress responses to oxidative and ER stresses in Drosophila, suggest significant specificities in protective properties between genes associated to the same functional classes. According to our functional analysis, a large part of the genome may play a role in protective mechanisms against oxidative stress in Drosophila.

Drosophila; microarrays; proteasome; P450; GT; stress.