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  • 1
    ISSN: 1432-0886
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
    Notes: Abstract.  We describe genetic interactions between mutations in mgr, asp, and polo, genes required for the correct behaviour of the spindle poles in Drosophila. The phenotype of a polo 1 mgr double mutant is more similar to mgr than polo 1 , but the frequency of circular monopolar figures (CMFs) seen with either mutant alone is additive, suggesting that the two gene products are required for independent functions in the formation of bipolar spindles. The asp E3 mgr double mutant arrests much earlier in development than either mutant alone, indicative of a strong block to cell proliferation. We discuss whether the lack of microtubular structures in these cells reflects an extended mitotic arrest, or if it is a more direct consequence of the double mutant combination. A polo 1 asp E3 double mutant shows a dramatic synergistic increase in mitotic frequency. The loss of CMFs normally associated with the polo 1 phenotype suggests that the Asp microtubule-associated protein is required to maintain the structure of spindle poles. We speculate that Asp protein might be a substrate for the serine-threonine protein kinase encoded by polo.
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1432-0886
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
    Notes: Abstract. The polo gene of Drosophila melanogaster is the founding member of the polo-like kinase family which is conserved among eukaryotes. POLO has been implicated in the organisation and function of the mitotic apparatus. Furthermore, POLO has been shown to be required for normal spermatogenesis. To characterize further the role of POLO in spermatogenesis, polo mutants were analysed by immunostaining with specific antibodies and phase contrast microscopy. Immunofluorescence shows that POLO localises to the centrosomes, the centromere/kinetochore and the spindle midzone. The meiotic phenotype of various mutant allelic combinations was also studied in detail. Observation of mutant live testes indicates cytological abnormalities in all meiotic cell types, including variable DNA content and multipolar spindles. Primary spermatocytes in polo mutant testes contain an abnormal DNA content, suggesting failure of chromosome segregation during gonial division. Immunostaining of polo mutant cells with α-tubulin shows several abnormalities of the meiotic spindle, including a significantly reduced central spindle. Our results suggest that polo has multiple functions during spermatogenesis.
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1432-0886
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
    Notes: Abstract. We have used the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique to search the Drosophila melanogaster genome for the presence of sequences with homology to mammalian and yeast centromeric DNA. Using primers based on the human CENP-B box present in α-satellite DNA and part of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae CDEIII centromeric sequence, a number of specific DNA fragments were amplified from total genomic DNA. In situ hybridization to polytene and mitotic chromosomes showed these fragments to localise to centromeric and pericentromeric regions. Direct cloning of the amplified fragments into conventional plasmids proved unsuccessful. However, a recombinant P1 clone containing D. melanogaster genomic DNA that supports PCR amplification by the primers was identified. Molecular characterisation of this clone revealed a DNA fragment that localises primarily to the centromere of chromosome 2. Sequence analysis indicated that this fragment contains at least four different repeats, including Rsp, transposable elements, Bari-1 and a new AT-rich repeated sequence that we have designated Porto-1. Detailed fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis shows that Porto-1 is localised very close to the primary constriction of chromosome 2. Sequence analysis suggests that this repeat was specifically amplified by our primers, although limited homology to the CENP-B box or CDEIII elements was found. In situ hybridization to a number of Drosophila species shows Porto-1 to be present only in D. melanogaster.
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  • 4
    ISSN: 1432-0886
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
    Notes: Abstract. We report here the isolation and molecular characterization of the Drosophila homolog of the mitotic checkpoint control protein Bub3. The Drosophila Bub3 protein is associated with the centromere/kinetochore of chromosomes in larval neuroblasts whose spindle assembly checkpoints have been activated by incubation with the microtubule-depolymerizing agent colchicine. Drosophila Bub3 is also found at the kinetochore regions in mitotic larval neuroblasts and in meiotic primary and secondary spermatocytes, with the strong signal seen during prophase and prometaphase becoming increasingly weaker after the chromosomes have aligned at the metaphase plate. We further show that the localization of Bub3 to the kinetochore is disrupted by mutations in the gene encoding the Drosophila homolog of the spindle assembly checkpoint protein Bub1. Combined with recent findings showing that the kinetochore localization of Bub1 conversely depends upon Bub3, these results support the hypothesis that the spindle assembly checkpoint proteins exist as a multiprotein complex recruited as a unit to the kinetochore. In contrast, we demonstrate that the kinetochore constituents Zw10 and Rod are not needed for the binding of Bub3 to the kinetochore. This suggests that the kinetochore is assembled in at least two relatively independent pathways.
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  • 5
    ISSN: 1573-6849
    Keywords: centromere ; Drosophila ; heterochromatin ; Hoppel
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract We have isolated a Hoppel-like transposon from heterochromatin of the second chromosome of Drosophila melanogaster and used a conserved DNA sequence between the different elements of this family to determine their distribution in both mitotic and polytene chromosomes. The hybridization pattern of polytene chromosomes extends throughout the entire chromocentre, as well as a substantial portion of the fourth chromosome. Analysis of different wild-type strains of D. melanogaster shows variation in euchromatic insertion sites, although most insertions are found near the chromocentre. The positions and the number of heterochromatic clusters of Hoppel on mitotic chromosomes are conserved among the several strains analysed. Accurate mapping of this element was achieved by in situ hybridization on D. melanogaster mitotic chromosomes that had previously been banded with Hoechst 33258. To evaluate the evolutionary stability of this pattern, different species were analysed by in situ hybridization and Southern blotting. We conclude that Hoppel has a conserved distribution in mitotic heterochromatin within the D. melanogaster subgroup, established around 5 million years ago. The overall conservation of heterochormatic organization supports the notion that heterochormatin does perform important structural and functional roles.
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  • 6
    ISSN: 1573-6857
    Keywords: Drosophila melanogaster ; cuticular structures ; larvae ; yellow gene ; locomotor behavior
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract The yellow (y) mutation of Drosophila melanogaster affects the development of behavior and morphology. We have analyzed some behavioral and morphological parameters during the development of y mutants. Wild-type third instar larvae move in straighter paths than larvae of the same age homozygous for the y mutation. At 96 h of age, the tracks of y larvae have 10 times as many loops as tracks of wild-type larvae, and at 120 h of age, y larvae show bending behavior about 2.5 times more frequently than do wild-type. Consequently, they do not disperse as much as wild-type larvae. Concomitant with the behavioral changes, the larvae present a defect in the morphology of large chaetae in the larval denticle belts, particularly of 2nd and 3rd instars, both with light and scanning electron microscopes. These results suggest that a cuticular defect is probably involved in the abnormal locomotor activity observed in y larvae of Drosophila melanogaster.
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  • 7
    ISSN: 1573-6849
    Keywords: autoantigens ; chromosome ; mitosis ; systemic lupus erythematosus
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract Systemic lupus erythematosus autoantibodies were used to identify and to characterize new human chromosome-associated proteins. Previous immunolocalization studies in human and murine tissue culture cells showed that some of these monoclonal antibodies recognize nuclear antigens that associate with condensed chromosomes during mitosis. One antibody was selected for screening a human HeLa S3 cDNA expression library, and cDNAs that code for an antigen of 31--33 kDa were isolated. Immunological, biochemical and cell fractionation data indicate that the 31- to 33-kDa antigen corresponds to the chromosome-associated protein recognized by the original monoclonal antibody. Sequence analysis shows that we isolated a novel human gene. Immunolocalization to human tissue culture cells shows that during interphase the antigen is dispersed in the nucleus and that during mitosis it associates exclusively with condensed chromosomes. A similar pattern of localization was also observed in mouse fibroblasts, suggesting that the antigen is conserved among different species. Finally, we show that part of the antigen remains bound to the scaffold/matrix component, even after high salt extraction.
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  • 8
    ISSN: 1573-6849
    Keywords: autoantibodies ; cell cycle ; DNA replication ; human ; MCP1
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract Metaphase chromosome protein 1 (MCP1) is a nuclear autoantigen that is associated with condensed chromosomes throughout mitosis. During interphase, this antigen shows a speckle distribution in the nucleus, excluding the nucleolus. Additionally, MCP1 binds tightly to the scaffold/matrix component of nuclei and isolated chromosomes. In order to determine the in-vivo localization of the antigen, we have expressed MCP1 fused to EGFP in tissue culture cells. The results demonstrate that MCP1 is located in the nucleus during interphase and during mitosis associates tightly to condensed chromosomes. Furthermore, microinjection of specific antibody confirms these results. We have used a specific monoclonal antibody (mAb 402) against MCP1 to assess the function of this antigen during cell cycle progression. HeLa and Ptk-2 cells that were microinjected into the nucleus and/or cytoplasm at G1/S and very early S phase were not able to progress and complete DNA replication. However, injection of mAb 402 at mid or late S phase does not prevent completion of DNA replication and subsequent progression into mitosis. Microinjection of mAb 402 in Ptk-2 cells synchronized in mitosis did not interfere with progression of mitosis and cells divided. Our results suggest that MCP1 is required at the G1/S transition and during early S phase.
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