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EMBO J. 1991 Feb;10(2):419-24.

Separation of meiotic and mitotic effects of claret non-disjunctional on chromosome segregation in Drosophila.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710.


The claret (ca) locus in Drosophila encodes a kinesin-related motor molecule that is required for proper distribution of chromosomes in meiosis in females and in the early mitotic divisions of the embryo. Here we demonstrate that a mutant allele of claret non-disjunctional (ca(nd)), non-claret disjunctional Dominant (ncdD), causes abnormalities in meiotic chromosome segregation, but is near wild-type with respect to early mitotic chromosome segregation. DNA sequence analysis of this mutant allele reveals two missense mutations compared with the predicted wild-type protein. One mutation lies in a proposed microtubule binding region of the motor domain and affects an amino acid residue that is conserved in all kinesin-related proteins reported to date. This region of the motor domain can be used to distinguish meiotic and mitotic motor function, defining an amino acid sequence criterion for classifying motors according to function. ncdD's mutant meiotic effect, but near wild-type mitotic effect, suggests that interactions of the ca motor protein with spindle microtubules differ in meiosis and mitosis.

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