Molecular characterization of the first heat shock protein 70 from a reef coral

Moshe Tom, Jacob Douek, Irena Yankelevich, Thomas C.G. Bosch, Baruch Rinkevich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The branching coral Stylophora pistillata, one of the most abundant hermatypic corals along the coasts of the Red Sea, has been used for many years as a model species for coral biological studies. Here we characterize the first coral heat shock protein 70 gene (SP-HSP70), cloned from S. pistillata, to be used as a tool for studying coral stress response. The cloning was carried out by a combination of PCR methods using heterologous, degenerate HSP70-based primers, followed by plaque-lift screening of a genomic library. The sequenced clone (5212 bp), contains a complete 1953 bp, intronless open reading frame, and 5' and 3' flanking regions of 1935 and 1324 bp, respectively. TATA, CAAT, and ATF boxes as well as 11 putative heat shock elements were identified in the SP-HSP70 5' flanking region. A polyadenylation site was identified in the 3' flanking region. SP-HSP70 protein sequence resembles the cytosolic/nuclear HSP70 cluster. RT-PCR studies confirmed SP-HSP70 mRNA expression in corals grown within their normal physiological conditions. Furthermore, SP-HSP70 has been shown to belong to the coral genome and not to its symbiotic algae one, as revealed by SP-HSP70 PCR amplification, using purified algal and coral DNA templates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-108
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 19 Aug 1999
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We kindly appreciate the assistance of Ms. Irit Touitou and Mr. Amnon Cavari during various stages of this study, and to the staff of the MBL in Eilat for their hospitality. The study was supported by the Minerva Center for Marine Invertebrates Immunology and Developmental Biology, US-AID-CDR (C14O15) and by the EC-INCO program.


  • Corals
  • Gulf of Eilat
  • HSP70
  • Stylophora pistillata

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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