Many organisms have developed a robust ability to adapt and survive in the face of environmental perturbations that threaten the integrity of their genome, proteome, or metabolome. Studies in multiple model organisms have shown that, in general, when exposed to stress, cells activate a complex prosurvival signaling network that includes immune and DNA damage response genes, chaperones, antioxidant enzymes, structural proteins, metabolic enzymes, and noncoding RNAs. The manner of activation runs the gamut from transcriptional induction of genes to increased stability of transcripts to posttranslational modification of important biosynthetic proteins within the stressed tissue. Superimposed on these largely autonomous effects are nonautonomous responses in which the stressed tissue secretes peptides and other factors that stimulate tissues in different organs to embark on processes that ultimately help the organism as a whole cope with stress. This review focuses on the mechanisms by which tissues in one organ adapt to environmental challenges by regulating stress responses in tissues of different organs.


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