Saturday, October 01, 2005

Phenotypic plasticity....   posted by Razib @ 10/01/2005 06:00:00 PM

Hsp90 Potentiates the Rapid Evolution of New Traits: Drug Resistance in Diverse Fungi:

Hsp90 is a molecular chaperone for many signal transducers and may influence evolution by releasing previously silent genetic variation in response to environmental change. In fungi separated by ~800 million years of evolution, Hsp90 potentiated the evolution of drug resistance in a different way, by enabling new mutations to have immediate phenotypic consequences. Resistance was abrogated by Hsp90 inhibitors and by febrile temperatures, suggesting new therapeutic strategies and a clinical benefit of fever. During selection in a human host, drug resistance that was initially Hsp90-dependent evolved toward independence. Thus, Hsp90 can act in diverse ways to couple environmental contingency to the emergence and fixation of new traits.