A recombinant lambda-phage DNA clone containing Drosophila melanogaster sequences encoding the gene for myosin light chain (MLC) two has been isolated from a library of randomly sheared DNA. The Drosophila MLC2 gene is located in region 99E1-3 on the right arm of chromosome 3, several bands removed from the site reported for the other myosin light chain gene at 98B. The MLC2 sequence at 99E1-3 appears to encode all of the isoforms of Drosophila MLC2. The polypeptide encoded at 99E was identified as MLC2 by the following criteria: the in vitro translation product is identical in size to MLC2 isolated from Drosophila muscle, and on two-dimensional gels the in vitro translation product can be separated into two or more peptides that co-migrate with isoforms of larval and thoracic MLC2. RNA encoding the polypeptide was detected in embryos only after the onset of muscle differentiation and was also abundant in adult thoracic muscle. The nucleotide sequence of cDNA generated from late embryonic RNA would be translated to yield a protein sequence with multiple regions of homology to vertebrate MLC2. (There are shorter regions of homology to vertebrate MLC1). Like a number of vertebrate muscle proteins, Drosophila MLC2 has an acetylated amino-terminus.

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