To assess the ability of the heat-inducible molecular chaperone heat-shock protein 70 (Hsp70) to mitigate a specific developmental lesion, we administered the antimicrotubule drugs vinblastine (VB) and colchicine (COL) to larvae of Drosophila engineered to express differing levels of Hsp70 after heat pretreatment (HP). VB and COL decreased survival during metamorphosis, disrupted development of the adult eye and other structures as well as their precursor imaginal disks, and induced chromosome nondisjunction in the wing imaginal disk as indicated by the somatic mutation and recombination test (SMART) assay. Hsp70-inducing HP reduced many of these effects. For the traits viability, adult eye morphology, eye imaginal disk morphology, cell death in the eye imaginal disks, and single and total mutant clone formation in the SMART assay, HP reduced the impact of VB to a greater extent in Drosophila with 6 hsp70 transgenes than in a sister strain from which the transgenes had been excised. Because the extra-copy strain has higher levels of Hsp70 than does the excision strain but is otherwise almost identical in genetic background to the excision strain, these outcomes are attributable to Hsp70. The hsp70 copy number had a variable interaction with HP and COL administration.
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