Hybridomas secreting monoclonal antibodies have been produced by fusion of NS-1 mouse myeloma cells with the spleen cells of mice inoculated with a 60-65,000-mol wt fraction of proteins released from Drosophila embryo nuclei treated with DNase I. The antibodies secreted by the hybridomas were examined with polytene chromosomes of formaldehyde-fixed salivary gland squashes by an immunofluorescence assay. Most of the clonal antibodies obtained resulted in specific staining of the chromosomes relative to the cytoplasmic debris. In the case of clone 28, the antibodies showed a preferential association with sites of gene activity, both puffs and loci identified as puffing at some time during the third instar and prepupal period. In larvae that were heat shocked (exposed to 35 degrees C for 15 min before removal and fixation of the glands), the antibodies of clone 28 stained preferentially the induced heat-shock loci while continuing to stain most of the normal set of loci. The antigen for clone 28 was identified as a single protein of approximately 62,000 mol wt by using the antibodies followed by 125I-rabbit anti-mouse Ig to stain nitrocellulose replicas of SDS polyacrylamide gels of total chromosomal proteins. This study demonstrates that monoclonal antibodies can be used successfully in immunofluorescence staining of formaldehyde-fixed polytene chromosomes. The results verify the hypothesis that a specific nonhistone chromosomal protein is preferentially associated with the set of loci that includes both active sites and those scheduled to be active at some time in this developmental program. Such proteins may play a general role in the mechanisms of cell determination and gene activation.

This content is only available as a PDF.