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The phenotypes of single Hsp104 and Hsp70 mutants of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae provide no clue that these proteins are functionally related. Mutation of the HSP104 gene severely reduces the ability of cells to survive short exposures to extreme temperatures (thermotolerance) but has no effect on growth rates. On the other hand, mutations in the genes that encode Hsp70 proteins have significant effects on growth rates but do not reduce thermotolerance. The absence of a thermotolerance defect in S. cerevisiae Hsp70 mutants is puzzling, since the protein clearly plays an important role in thermotolerance in a variety of other organisms. In this report, examination of the phenotypes of combined Hsp104 and Hsp70 mutants uncovers similarities in the functions of Hsp104 and Hsp70 not previously apparent. In the absence of the Hsp104 protein, Hsp70 is very important for thermotolerance in S. cerevisiae, particularly at very early times after a temperature upshift. Similarly, Hsp104 plays a substantial role in vegetative growth under conditions of decreased Hsp70 protein levels. These results suggest a close functional relationship between Hsp104 and Hsp70.