Expression of Heat Shock Protein 70 (Hsp70) in the Amphibious Mud Eel (Monopterus cuchia) Under Hyper-Ammonia Stress

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All organisms are adapted to life within a constrained environmental envelope, with cosequent specializations in ecology, physiology and biochemistry. Associated with these adaptations is a species-specific capacity to cope with environmental changes. If an organism is taken outside of its “normal” environmental envelope, for example, by changing temperature, salinity or oxygen availability, the organism become vulnerable, a situation generically described as stress. In turn, this environmental challenge tiggers a biochemical response, the aim of which is to counteract or mitigate any potential cell damage caused by the environmental insult and to enhance survival. Fish, like other vertebrates, respond to a stressor by eliciting a generalized physiological stress response, which is characterized by an increase of stress hormones and consequent changes that help maintain the animal’s normal or homeostatic state (Iwama et al., 1999; Barton, 2002). This generalized response has been considered to be adaptive and represents the natural capacity of the fish to respond to stress. Molecular chaperones are major cell constituents in all organisms under nonstress conditions and they are essential to ensure proper folding and intracellular localization of newly synthesized polypeptides. The need for molecular chaperones is higher under stressful conditions, as the rate of damage to cell proteins or problems with proper folding incresaes markedly (Sorensen et al., 2003). Heat shock proteins (Hsps) or stress proteins, a subset of molecular chaperones, are a family of higher conserved, intracellular proteins forming a part of this cellular defense. This family of proteins apart from being induced in response to heat shock, also are induced in ... ... middle of paper ... ...nd Ackerman P. A. (1999). Heat shock proteins and physiological expression in fish. Amer. Zool. 39: 901-909. Lindquist, S. and Craig, E. A. (1988). The heat-shock proteins. Annu. Rev. Genet., 22: 631-677. Rainboth, W. J. (1996). Fishes of the Cambodian Mekong, FAO species. In: Identification Field Guide for Fishery Purposes. Rome: FAO. pp. 265. Saha, N. and Ratha, B. K. (2007). Functional ureogenesis and adaptation to ammonia metabolism in Indian freshwater air-breathing catfishes. Fish Physiol. Biochem., 33: 283-295. Sorensen J. G., Kristensen T. N., Loeschcke V. (2003). The evolutionary and ecological role of heat shock proteins. Ecol. Lett. 6: 1025-1037. Wang Y., Xu J., Sheng L., Zheng Y. (2007). Field and laboratory investigations of the thermal influence on tissue-specific Hsp70 levels in common carp (Cyprinus carpio). Comp. Biochem. Physiol., 148B: 821-827.

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