A yeast strain lacking the two genes SSA1 and SSA2, which encode cytosolic molecular chaperones, acquires thermotolerance as well as the mild heat-shocked wild-type yeast strain. We investigated the genomic response at the level of mRNA expression to the deletion of SSA1/2 in comparison with the mild heat-shocked wild-type using cDNA microarray.
Yeast cDNA microarray analysis revealed that genes involved in the stress response, including molecular chaperones, were up-regulated in a similar manner in both the ssa1/2 deletion mutant and the mild heat-shocked wild-type. Genes involved in protein synthesis were up-regulated in the ssa1/2 deletion mutant, but were markedly suppressed in the mild heat-shocked wild-type. The genes involved in ubiquitin-proteasome protein degradation were also up-regulated in the ssa1/2 deletion mutant, whereas the unfolded protein response (UPR) genes were highly expressed in the mild heat-shocked wild-type. RT-PCR confirmed that the genes regulating protein synthesis and cytosolic protein degradation were up-regulated in the ssa1/2 deletion mutant. At the translational level, more ubiquitinated proteins and proteasomes were detected in the ssa1/2 deletion mutant, than in the wild-type, confirming that ubiquitin-proteasome protein degradation was up-regulated by the deletion of SSA1/2.
These results suggest that the mechanism for rescue of denatured proteins in the ssa1/2 deletion mutant is different from that in the mild heat-shocked wild-type: Activated protein synthesis in the ssa1/2 deletion mutant supplies a deficiency of proteins by their degradation, whereas mild heat-shock induces UPR.