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Preconditioning by sublethal stress can protect a cell from subsequent injury and apoptosis through a mechanism that has been unclear. Many such stresses stimulate the formation of stress granules: transient cytoplasmic foci that contain heat shock protein as well as translationally stalled mRNA and various mRNA-binding proteins. Recent research suggests that sequestration in stress granules of TRAF2, an adaptor protein that is required for tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 signaling, may underlie preconditioning by sublethal stresses.
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