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Mech Dev. 1997 Jul;65(1-2):135-44.

Assembly of the zygotic centrosome in the fertilized Drosophila egg.

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Department of Evolutionary Biology, University of Siena, Italy.


Zygotic centrosome assembly in fertilized Drosophila eggs was analyzed with the aid of an antiserum Rb188, previously shown to be specific for CP190, a 190 kDa centrosome-associated protein (Whitfield et al. (1988) J. Cell Sci. 89, 467-480; Whitfield et al. (1995) J. Cell Sci. 108, 3377-3387). The CP190 protein was detected in two discrete spots, associated with the anterior and posterior ends of the elongating nucleus of Drosophila spermatids. As the spermatids matured, this labelling gradually disappeared and was no longer visible in sperm dissected from spermathecae and ventral receptacles. gamma-Tubulin was also found in association with the posterior end of the sperm nucleus during spermiogenesis, but was not detected in mature sperm. This suggests that CP190 and gamma-tubulin are not present in detectable quantities in fertilizing sperm. CP190 was not detected in association with the sperm nucleus of newly fertilized eggs removed from the uterus, whereas many CP190-positive particles were associated with microtubules of the sperm aster from anaphase I to anaphase II. These particles disappeared during early telophase II and only one pair of CP190-positive spots remained visible at the microtubule focus of the sperm aster. These spots were associated with one aster through telophase, and then moved away to form two smaller asters from which the first mitotic spindle was organized. Colchicine treatment suggested that at least some CP190 protein is an integral part of the centrosome rather than merely being transported along microtubules. Centrosomal localization of the CP190 antigen was prevented by incubation of the permeabilized zygote in 20 mM EDTA.

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