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Plasma membranes as heat stress sensors: From lipid-controlled molecular switches to therapeutic applications

Török, Zsolt, Crul, Tim, Maresca, Bruno, Schütz, Gerhard J., Viana, Felix, Dindia, Laura, Piotto, Stefano, Brameshuber, Mario, Balogh, Gábor, Péter, Mária, Porta, Amalia, Trapani, Alfonso, Gombos, Imre, Glatz, Attila, Gungor, Burcin, Peksel, Begüm, Vigh, László Jr., Csoboz, Bálint, Horváth, Ibolya, Vijayan, Mathilakath M., Hooper, Phillip L., Harwood, John L. ORCID: and Vigh, László 2014. Plasma membranes as heat stress sensors: From lipid-controlled molecular switches to therapeutic applications. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Biomembranes 1838 (6) , pp. 1594-1618. 10.1016/j.bbamem.2013.12.015

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The classic heat shock (stress) response (HSR) was originally attributed to protein denaturation. However, heat shock protein (Hsp) induction occurs in many circumstances where no protein denaturation is observed. Recently considerable evidence has been accumulated to the favor of the “Membrane Sensor Hypothesis” which predicts that the level of Hsps can be changed as a result of alterations to the plasma membrane. This is especially pertinent to mild heat shock, such as occurs in fever. In this condition the sensitivity of many transient receptor potential (TRP) channels is particularly notable. Small temperature stresses can modulate TRP gating significantly and this is influenced by lipids. In addition, stress hormones often modify plasma membrane structure and function and thus initiate a cascade of events, which may affect HSR. The major transactivator heat shock factor-1 integrates the signals originating from the plasma membrane and orchestrates the expression of individual heat shock genes. We describe how these observations can be tested at the molecular level, for example, with the use of membrane perturbers and through computational calculations. An important fact which now starts to be addressed is that membranes are not homogeneous nor do all cells react identically. Lipidomics and cell profiling are beginning to address the above two points. Finally, we observe that a deregulated HSR is found in a large number of important diseases where more detailed knowledge of the molecular mechanisms involved may offer timely opportunities for clinical interventions and new, innovative drug treatments. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Membrane structure and function: Relevance in the cell's physiology, pathology and therapy.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Uncontrolled Keywords: Lipid raft; TRP channel; Heat shock response; Stress hormone; Cell-to-cell heterogeneity; Lipidomics; Membrane lipid therapy
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0005-2736
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 18 December 2013
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 09:27

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