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Cold Shock Response and Adaptation at Near-Freezing Temperature in Microorganisms

Microorganisms that naturally encounter sharp temperature shifts must develop strategies for responding and adapting to these shifts. Escherichia coli, which are adapted to living at both warm temperatures inside animals and cooler ambient temperatures, respond to low temperatures (10° to 15°C) by adjusting membrane lipid composition and increasing the production of proteins that act as "RNA chaperones" required for transcription and translation and proteins that facilitate ribosomal assembly. In contrast, yeast, which are adapted to cooler temperatures, show a relatively minor cold shock response after temperature shifts from 30° to 10°C but respond with a dramatic increase in the synthesis of trehalose and a heat shock protein when exposed to freezing or near-freezing temperatures. This emphasizes the fact that different groups of microorganisms exhibit distinct types of cold shock responses.

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Resource Type: Diagram, Illustration, Journal article/Issue, Review
Audience Level: Undergraduate upper division 15-16, Graduate, Professional (degree program)

Author and Copyright

Authors and Editors: Masayori Inouye of Department of Biochemistry, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Sangita Phadtare of Department of Biochemistry, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science
Format: application/pdf, image/gif, image/jpeg, text/html
Copyright and other restrictions: Yes
Cost: Yes


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