Stress Responses are regulated by transcription factors upon certain stimuli. One of the major stress responses is the heat shock response, others are responses to aggreagte formation or generally unfolded proteins. We analyse the regulation of these responses in yeast, nematodes and mammlians.
The heat-shock response and the innate immune response
Molecular chaperones suppress protein aggregation and participate in the regulation of the heat shock response. We are interested how these processes are connected at the organismal level and we utilize to this aim the model systems Caenorhabditis elegans and mammlian cells. In C.elegans we identified parts of the stress network from RNA interferece against Hsp-90, which induces the heat shock response and expresses it alongside the innate immune response in the nematode.
Induction of the heat shock response after RNAi treatment agains Hsp90 (upper level, lower level: control, Gaiser et al., 2011). Right side: Other genes, which are induced or repressed by this treatment (Eckl et al., 2017).
The response to protein aggregation
We are investigating the cellular consequences of protein aggregation in the model system Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Here we have established a system, which is toxic after the expression of a polyglutamine-containing protein. During screening a genome-wide deletion library we identified 32 genes, which suppress this toxic effect. Using this information, we try to understand the underlying processes and the convoluted pathways leading to the transcriptional response.
Toxicity of pQ56 and suppression of toxicity by two deletion strains (Kaiser et al., 2013). Genes upregulated upon intoxication (Papsdorf et al., 2015)