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Open Access Research article

Dynamic resolution of functionally related gene sets in response to acute heat stress

Joseph D Szustakowski1, Penelope A Kosinski2, Christine A Marrese2, Jee-Hyung Lee2, Stephen J Elliman2, Nanguneri Nirmala1 and Daniel M Kemp2*

Author Affiliations

1 Developmental and Molecular Pathways, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

2 Diabetes & Metabolism Disease Area, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

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BMC Molecular Biology 2007, 8:46  doi:10.1186/1471-2199-8-46

Published: 5 June 2007



Using a gene clustering strategy we determined intracellular pathway relationships within skeletal myotubes in response to an acute heat stress stimuli. Following heat shock, the transcriptome was analyzed by microarray in a temporal fashion to characterize the dynamic relationship of signaling pathways.


Bioinformatics analyses exposed coordination of functionally-related gene sets, depicting mechanism-based responses to heat shock. Protein turnover-related pathways were significantly affected including protein folding, pre-mRNA processing, mRNA splicing, proteolysis and proteasome-related pathways. Many responses were transient, tending to normalize within 24 hours.


In summary, we show that the transcriptional response to acute cell stress is largely transient and proteosome-centric.