Variation in the number of individual chromosomes (chromosomal aneuploidy) or chromosome segments (segmental aneuploidy) is associated with developmental abnormalities and reduced fitness in all species examined; it is the leading cause of miscarriages and mental retardation and a hallmark of cancer. However, despite their documented importance in disease, the effects of aneuploidies on the transcriptome remain largely unknown. We have examined the expression effects of seven heterozygous chromosomal deficiencies, both singly and in all pairwise combinations, in Drosophila melanogaster. The results show that genes in one copy are buffered, i.e. expressed more strongly than the expected 50% of wild-type level, the buffering is general and not influenced by other monosomic regions. Furthermore, long genes are significantly more highly buffered than short genes and gene length appears to be the primary determinant of the buffering degree. For short genes the degree of buffering depends on expression level and expression pattern. Furthermore, the results show that in deficiency heterozygotes the expression of genes involved in proteolysis is enhanced and negatively correlates with the degree of buffering. Thus, enhanced proteolysis appears to be a general response to aneuploidy.