Logo of pnasPNASInfo for AuthorsSubscriptionsAboutThis Article
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1980 Feb; 77(2): 1096–1100.
PMCID: PMC348431

Amplification of genes for chorion proteins during oogenesis in Drosophila melanogaster


The endochorion and exochorion of Drosophila eggs are synthesized by the ovarian follicle cells during a brief period of about 5 hr. In this terminal phase of egg chamber development, the structural genes for several abundant chorion proteins are expressed at high levels according to a temporally regulated program. The female-sterile mutation ocelliless maps at the site of the genes for two of these proteins, the 36,000- and 38,000-dalton chorion proteins (c36 and c38), which are closely linked. The mutation results in a cis-acting reduction in the amounts of c36 and c38 that accumulate in late-stage egg chambers. We have investigated the mechanism that underlies this decreased production by using cDNA clones complementary to these gene sequences. Unexpectedly, it was found that, in normal females, the genes for c36, c38, and at least one other chorion protein are specifically amplified more than 10-fold in the DNA of late-stage egg chambers. The extra replication involves at least some adjacent chromosomal sequences and begins prior to the onset of mRNA and protein synthesis. The additional DNA remains stable after gene expression has ceased. The behavior of these genes is thus reminiscent of the properties of the DNA puffs that have been described in several groups of Diptera. The extent of amplification of c36 and c38, but not of the 18,000-dalton chorion protein c18 (which is unlinked), was decreased in the egg chambers of flies homozygous for ocelliless, suggesting that altered gene dosage may be responsible for the decreased synthesis of chorion proteins in the mutant.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (1.6M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Images in this article

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • BREUER ME, PAVAN C. Behavior of polytene chromosomes of Rhynchosciara angelae at different stages of larval development. Chromosoma. 1955;7(4):341–386. [PubMed]
  • Rudkin GT. Non replicating DNA in Drosophila. Genetics. 1969;61(1 Suppl):227–238. [PubMed]
  • Spear BB, Gall JG. Independent control of ribosomal gene replication in polytene chromosomes of Drosophila melanogaster. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1973 May;70(5):1359–1363. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Endow SA, Gall JG. Differential replication of satellite DNA in polyploid tissues of Drosophila virilis. Chromosoma. 1975;50(2):175–179. [PubMed]
  • Brown DD, Dawid IB. Specific gene amplification in oocytes. Oocyte nuclei contain extrachromosomal replicas of the genes for ribosomal RNA. Science. 1968 Apr 19;160(3825):272–280. [PubMed]
  • Gall JG. Differential synthesis of the genes for ribosomal RNA during amphibian oögenesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1968 Jun;60(2):553–560. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Mahowald AP, Caulton JH, Edwards MK, Floyd AD. Loss of centrioles and polyploidization in follicle cells of Drosophila melanogaster. Exp Cell Res. 1979 Feb;118(2):404–410. [PubMed]
  • Suzuki Y, Gage LP, Brown DD. The genes for silk fibroin in Bombyx mori. J Mol Biol. 1972 Oct 14;70(3):637–649. [PubMed]
  • Gage LP, Manning RF. Determination of the multiplicity of the silk fibroin gene and detection of fibroin gene-related DNA in the genome of Bombyx mori. J Mol Biol. 1976 Mar 5;101(3):327–348. [PubMed]
  • Sullivan D, Palacios R, Stavnezer J, Taylor JM, Faras AJ, Kiely ML, Summers NM, Bishop JM, Schimke RT. Synthesis of a deoxyribonucleic acid sequence complementary to ovalbumin messenger ribonucleic acid and quantification of ovalbumin genes. J Biol Chem. 1973 Nov 10;248(21):7530–7539. [PubMed]
  • Harrison PR, Birnie GD, Hell A, Humphries S, Young BD, Paul J. Kinetic studies of gene frequency. I. Use of a DNA copy of reticulocyte 9 S RNA to estimate globin gene dosage in mouse tissues. J Mol Biol. 1974 Apr 25;84(4):539–554. [PubMed]
  • Packman S, Aviv H, Ross J, Leder P. A comparison of globin genes in duck reticulocytes and liver cells. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1972 Nov 1;49(3):813–819. [PubMed]
  • Kafatos FC. The cocoonase zymogen cells of silk moths: a model of terminal cell differentiation for specific protein synthesis. Curr Top Dev Biol. 1972;7:125–191. [PubMed]
  • Suzuki Y, Giza PE. Accentuated expression of silk fibroin genes in vivo and in vitro. J Mol Biol. 1976 Nov 5;107(3):183–206. [PubMed]
  • McKnight SL, Sullivan NL, Miller OL., Jr Visualization of the silk fibroin transcription unit and nascent silk fibroin molecules on polyribosomes of Bombyx mori. Prog Nucleic Acid Res Mol Biol. 1976;19:313–318. [PubMed]
  • Kafatos FC, Regier JC, Mazur GD, Nadel MR, Blau HM, Petri WH, Wyman AR, Gelinas RE, Moore PB, Paul M, et al. The eggshell of insects: differentiation-specific proteins and the control of their synthesis and accumulation during development. Results Probl Cell Differ. 1977;8:45–145. [PubMed]
  • Petri WH, Wyman AR, Kafatos FC. Specific protein synthesis in cellular differentiation. III. The eggshell proteins of Drosophila melanogaster and their program of synthesis. Dev Biol. 1976 Mar;49(1):185–199. [PubMed]
  • Spradling AC, Mahowald AP. Identification and genetic localization of mRNAs from ovarian follicle cells of Drosophila melanogaster. Cell. 1979 Mar;16(3):589–598. [PubMed]
  • Waring GL, Mahowald AP. Identification and time of synthesis of chorion proteins in Drosophila melanogaster. Cell. 1979 Mar;16(3):599–607. [PubMed]
  • Spradling AC, Waring GL, Mahowald AP. Drosophila bearing the ocelliless mutation underproduce two major chorion proteins both of which map near this gene. Cell. 1979 Mar;16(3):609–616. [PubMed]
  • BURTON K. A study of the conditions and mechanism of the diphenylamine reaction for the colorimetric estimation of deoxyribonucleic acid. Biochem J. 1956 Feb;62(2):315–323. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Southern EM. Detection of specific sequences among DNA fragments separated by gel electrophoresis. J Mol Biol. 1975 Nov 5;98(3):503–517. [PubMed]
  • Lis JT, Prestidge L, Hogness DS. A novel arrangement of tandemly repeated genes at a major heat shock site in D. melanogaster. Cell. 1978 Aug;14(4):901–919. [PubMed]
  • Ricciardi RP, Miller JS, Roberts BE. Purification and mapping of specific mRNAs by hybridization-selection and cell-free translation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1979 Oct;76(10):4927–4931. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Schachat FH, Hogness DS. Repetitive sequences in isolated Thomas circles from Drosophila melanogaster. Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol. 1974;38:371–381. [PubMed]
  • Hourcade D, Dressler D, Wolfson J. The amplification of ribosomal RNA genes involves a rolling circle intermediate. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1973 Oct;70(10):2926–2930. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Biedler JL, Spengler BA. Metaphase chromosome anomaly: association with drug resistance and cell-specific products. Science. 1976 Jan 16;191(4223):185–187. [PubMed]
  • Nunberg JH, Kaufman RJ, Schimke RT, Urlaub G, Chasin LA. Amplified dihydrofolate reductase genes are localized to a homogeneously staining region of a single chromosome in a methotrexate-resistant Chinese hamster ovary cell line. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1978 Nov;75(11):5553–5556. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Bonaldo MF, Santelli RV, Lara FJ. The transcript from a DNA puff of Rhynchosciara and its migration to the cytoplasm. Cell. 1979 Aug;17(4):827–833. [PubMed]
  • Alt FW, Kellems RE, Bertino JR, Schimke RT. Selective multiplication of dihydrofolate reductase genes in methotrexate-resistant variants of cultured murine cells. J Biol Chem. 1978 Mar 10;253(5):1357–1370. [PubMed]

Articles from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America are provided here courtesy of National Academy of Sciences


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


  • Gene
    Gene links
  • GEO Profiles
    GEO Profiles
    Related GEO records
  • MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...