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When the Stress of Your Environment Makes You Go HOG Wild

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Science  26 Nov 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5701, pp. 1511-1512
DOI: 10.1126/science.1104879

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When exposed to increased dissolved solute in their environment (hyperosmotic stress), all eukaryotic cells respond by rapidly activating a conserved mitogen-activated protein kinase cascade, known in budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as the high osmolarity glycerol (HOG) pathway. Intensive genetic and biochemical analysis in this organism has revealed the presumptive osmosensors, downstream signaling components, and metabolic and transcriptional changes that allow cells to cope with this stressful condition. These findings have had direct application to understanding stress sensing and control of transcription by stress-activated mitogen-activated protein kinases in mammalian cells.

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