Indexed on: 05 Jan '12Published on: 05 Jan '12Published in: Fisheries Science
Molecular chaperones are synthesized and accumulated under a variety of unfavorable conditions in all organisms. Heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) and Hsp60, which are classified into the major classes of molecular chaperones, play important roles in cellular stress responses. In this study, we characterized sterile Ulva pertusa Hsp90 (UpHsp90) and UpHsp60 genes which may be involved in tolerance to thermal and heavy metal stresses in this alga. The UpHsp90 cDNA consisting of 2,118 nucleotides encoded a polypeptide of 705 amino acids (AA). On the other hand, the UpHsp60 cDNA consisting of 1,722 nucleotides encoded a protein whose predicted length was 573 AA. The AA sequence alignment and phylogenetic analyses showed that the UpHsp90 and UpHsp60 proteins were more similar to cytoplasmic Hsp90s and mitochondrial Hsp60s, respectively, than to other types of the respective Hsps. Southern blot analysis indicated that the sterile U. pertusa genome had at least two cytoplasmic Hsp90-encoding genes and two mitochondrial Hsp60-encoding genes. The UpHsp90 and UpHsp60 mRNA levels were significantly affected by diurnal and temperature changes, and slightly affected by exposure to heavy metals. These results suggest that UpHsp90 and UpHsp60 genes play particularly important roles in adaptation to diurnal and temperature changes.