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PloS one

Stress Responses of Small Heat Shock Protein Genes in Lepidoptera Point to Limited Conservation of Function across Phylogeny.


PMID 26196395

Abstract

The small heat shock protein (sHsp) family is thought to play an important role in protein refolding and signal transduction, and thereby protect organisms from stress. However little is known about sHsp function and conservation across phylogenies. In the current study, we provide a comprehensive assessment of small Hsp genes and their stress responses in the oriental fruit moth (OFM), Grapholita molesta. Fourteen small heat shock proteins of OFM clustered with related Hsps in other Lepidoptera despite a high level of variability among them, and in contrast to the highly conserved Hsp11.1. The only known lepidopteran sHsp ortholog (Hsp21.3) was consistently unaffected under thermal stress in Lepidoptera where it has been characterized. However the phylogenetic position of the sHsps within the Lepidoptera was not associated with conservation of induction patterns under thermal extremes or diapause. These findings suggest that the sHsps have evolved rapidly to develop new functions within the Lepidoptera.