Perspective ARTICLE

Front. Genet., 23 April 2014 |

Stress, genomic adaptation, and the evolutionary trade-off

  • 1Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, School of Medicine, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA
  • 2John D. Dingell VA Medical Center, Detroit, MI, USA
  • 3Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA

Cells are constantly exposed to various internal and external stresses. The importance of cellular stress and its implication to disease conditions have become popular research topics. Many ongoing investigations focus on the sources of stress, their specific molecular mechanisms and interactions, especially regarding their contributions to many common and complex diseases through defined molecular pathways. Numerous molecular mechanisms have been linked to endoplasmic reticulum stress along with many unexpected findings, drastically increasing the complexity of our molecular understanding and challenging how to apply individual mechanism-based knowledge in the clinic. A newly emergent genome theory searches for the synthesis of a general evolutionary mechanism that unifies different types of stress and functional relationships from a genome-defined system point of view. Herein, we discuss the evolutionary relationship between stress and somatic cell adaptation under physiological, pathological, and somatic cell survival conditions, the multiple meanings to achieve adaptation and its potential trade-off. In particular, we purposely defocus from specific stresses and mechanisms by redirecting attention toward studying underlying general mechanisms.

Keywords: genome theory, genome instability, chromosomal instability, stress response, somatic evolution

Citation: Horne SD, Chowdhury SK and Heng HHQ (2014) Stress, genomic adaptation, and the evolutionary trade-off. Front. Genet. 5:92. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2014.00092

Received: 27 February 2014; Paper pending published: 19 March 2014;
Accepted: 03 April 2014; Published online: 23 April 2014.

Edited by:

Kezhong Zhang, Wayne State University, USA

Reviewed by:

A. Kemal Topaloglu, Cukurova University, Turkey
Daochun Sun, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, USA

Copyright © 2014 Horne, Chowdhury and Heng. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

*Correspondence: Henry H. Q. Heng, Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, School of Medicine, Wayne State University, 3226 Scott Hall, 540 East Canfield, Detroit, MI 48201, USA e-mail: