Monoclonal antibodies against the highly conserved ubiquitous calcium-binding protein, calmodulin (CaM), were produced by immunization of mouse primary spleen cell cultures. Dissociated spleen cells were cultured for 5 d in the presence of mixed thymocyte culture conditioned media (TCM) and purified bovine testes CaM (50 ng-1 mg). Following immunization, cells were fused with mouse myeloma cells (SP2/0, Ag 8.653) and cultured for 2-3 wk before initial screening for antibody. In five independent immunizations there was a range of 25-44% of the initial polyclonal cultures which produced antibodies reacting with purified CaM as determined by immunoassay. 80% of the cloned hybridoma produced IgM immunoglobulins while the remaining clones were IgG producers. This ratio was changed to 50% IgM and 50% IgG by subsequent extension of the in vitro immunization periods and reduced amounts of antigen and extended in vitro culturing. In vitro immunization introduces a new dimension to monoclonal antibody production where limited antigen or poorly antigenic proteins are of interest. The monoclonal antibodies produced in this study have enabled us to to selectively localize CaM in association with distinct subcellular structures, mitochondria, stress fibers, centrioles, and the mitotic spindle.

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