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Genetics. Mar 1993; 133(3): 569–579.
PMCID: PMC1205344

The Kl-3 Loop of the Y Chromosome of Drosophila Melanogaster Binds a Tektin-like Protein


Primary spermatocyte nuclei of Drosophila melanogaster exhibit three giant lampbrush-like loops formed by the kl-5, kl-3 and ks-1 Y-chromosome fertility factors. These structures contain and abundantly transcribe highly repetitive, simple sequence DNAs and accumulate large amounts of non-Y-encoded proteins. By immunizing mice with the 53-kD fraction (enriched in β(2)-tubulin) excised from a sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel loaded with Drosophila testis proteins we raised a polyclonal antibody, designated as T53-1, which decorates the kl-3 loop and the sperm flagellum. Two dimensional immunoblot analysis showed that the T53-1 antibody reacts with a single protein of about 53 kD, different from the tubulins and present both in X/Y and X/O males. Moreover, the antigen recognized by the T53-1 antibody proved to be testis-specific because it was detected in testes and seminal vesicles but not in other male tissues or in females. The characteristics of the protein recognized by the T53-1 antibody suggested that it might be a member of a class of axonemal proteins, the tektins, known to form Sarkosyl-urea insoluble filaments in the wall of flagellar microtubules. Purification of the Sarkosyl-urea insoluble fraction of D. melanogaster sperm revealed that it contains four polypeptides having molecular masses ranging from 51 to 57 kD. One of these polypeptides reacts strongly with the T53-1 antibody but none of them reacts with antitubulin antibodies. These results indicate that the kl-3 loop binds a non-Y encoded, testis-specific, tektin-like protein which is a constituent of the sperm flagellum. This finding supports the hypothesis that the Y loops fulfill a protein-binding function required for the proper assembly of the axoneme components.

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Selected References

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