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Co-ordination of osmotic stress responses through osmosensing and signal transduction events in fishes


  • T. G. Evans

    1. Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University, Pacific Grove, CA 93950, U.S.A.
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    • Present address: Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Molecular Genetics Section, Pacific Biological Station, Nanaimo, BC, V9T-6N7 Canada. Tel.: +1 250 756 7342; fax: +1 250 756 7053; email:


This review centres upon the molecular regulation of osmotic stress responses in fishes, focusing on how osmosensing and signal transduction events co-ordinate changes in the activity and abundance of effector proteins during osmotic stress and how these events integrate into osmotic stress responses of varying magnitude. The concluding sections discuss the relevance of osmosensory signal transduction to the evolution of euryhalinity and present experimental approaches that may best stimulate future research. Iterating the importance of osmosensing and signal transduction during fish osmoregulation may be pertinent amidst the increased use of genomic technologies that typically focus solely on changes in the abundances of gene products, and may limit insight into critical upstream events that occur mainly through post-translational mechanisms.