Drosophila hsp22 is a member of the small heat shock proteins family (shsps). The hsp22 is expressed in a tissue-general pattern in response to heat stress and during normal aging, and localizes to the mitochondrial matrix, however, its exact function and targets are unknown. Hsp22 was found to be rapidly induced in response to oxidative stress, indicating that hsp22 is also an oxidative stress response gene. To assay for effects of hsp22, a ubiquitous pattern of hsp22 gene expression was generated in young flies using the "tet-on" doxycycline-regulated promoter system. The hsp22 over-expression made flies more sensitive to heat and oxidative stress, while resistance to coumarin poisoning was not affected. Life span was also reduced, particularly at higher culture temperatures. Members of other hsp families have been shown to feedback-inhibit their own expression by interacting with the heat shock transcription factor (HSF) and preventing binding to the HSEs. Induction of hsp22:lacZ and hsp70:lacZ reporter transgenes in response to acute stress was normal in the presence of hsp22 protein over-expression and in old flies, indicating that the negative effects of hsp22 are downstream of the HSF/HSE pathway and the transcriptional heat shock response. The data demonstrate a specific over-expression phenotype for hsp22 and suggest that hsp22 interacts with heat and oxidative stress resistance pathways.