Heat Stress Reduces the Susceptibility of Caenorhabditis elegans to Orsay Virus Infection

Yuqing Huang, Mark G. Sterken, Koen van Zwet, Lisa van Sluijs, Gorben P. Pijlman, Jan E. Kammenga*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been a versatile model for understanding the molecular responses to abiotic stress and pathogens. In particular, the response to heat stress and virus infection has been studied in detail. The Orsay virus (OrV) is a natural virus of C. elegans and infection leads to intracellular infection and proteostatic stress, which activates the intracellular pathogen response (IPR). IPR related gene expression is regulated by the genes pals-22 and pals-25, which also control thermotolerance and immunity against other natural pathogens. So far, we have a limited understanding of the molecular responses upon the combined exposure to heat stress and virus infection. We test the hypothesis that the response of C. elegans to OrV infection and heat stress are co-regulated and may affect each other. We conducted a combined heat-stress-virus infection assay and found that after applying heat stress, the susceptibility of C. elegans to OrV was decreased. This difference was found across different wild types of C. elegans. Transcriptome analysis revealed a list of potential candidate genes associated with heat stress and OrV infection. Subsequent mutant screens suggest that pals-22 provides a link between viral response and heat stress, leading to enhanced OrV tolerance of C. elegans after heat stress.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1161
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2021


  • C. elegans
  • Heat stress
  • Orsay virus


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