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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1995 Jun 20;92(13):6067-71.

The Ste locus, a component of the parasitic cry-Ste system of Drosophila melanogaster, encodes a protein that forms crystals in primary spermatocytes and mimics properties of the beta subunit of casein kinase 2.

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Instituto di Genetica, Università di Bari, Italy.


Males of Drosophila melanogaster lacking the Y chromosome-linked crystal locus show multiple meiotic alterations including chromosome disorganization and prominent crystal formation in primary spermatocytes. These alterations are due to the derepression of the X chromosome-linked Stellate sequences. To understand how the derepression of the Stellate elements gives rise to these abnormalities, we have expressed the protein encoded by the Stellate sequences in bacteria and produced an antibody against the fusion protein. Immunostaining of crystal- testes has clearly shown that the Stellate protein is a major component of the crystals. Moreover, in vitro experiments have shown that this protein can interact with the catalytic alpha subunit of casein kinase 2 enzyme, altering its activity.

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