Production and characterization of antisera against three individual NHC proteins; a case of a generally distributed NHC protein

Chromosoma. 1978 Aug 28;68(2):101-14. doi: 10.1007/BF00287143.


In order to assess the selectivity of the distribution patterns of individual nonhistone chromosomal proteins (NHC proteins), immunofluorescent staining experiments were performed on Drosophila polytene chromosomes. Antisera have been prepared against three individual NHC proteins which were isolated by sequential preparative slab gel isoelectric focusing and SDS polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. In two cases, immunofluorescent staining of the chromosomes indicated a specific limited distribution pattern; apparently the antigen in each case is present at a reproducible and distinct subset of chromomeres. This type of pattern has also been obtained with antisera prepared against molecular weight subfractions of NHC proteins (Silver and Elgin, 1977). Each selective fluorescence distribution pattern obtained so far is reproducible and unique to the antiserum under study. In a third case, an antiserum caused prominant staining at dense chromomeres and the chromocenter in a pattern mimicking DNA (and presumably histone) distribution. Indirect radioimmunostaining of SDS and isoelectric focusing gels on which total NHC proteins had been separated confirmed that this antiserum reacted specifically with a protein(s) of molecular weight 21,000 D and pI 5.2. The data in conjunction with absorption experiments indicates that the chromosomal staining is due to an interaction of antibodies with NHC protein(s) and not with histones. This finding suggests that at least one major acidic NHC protein plays a very general role (comparable to that of the histones) in maintaining chromatin structure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies*
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / immunology*
  • Chromosomes / ultrastructure*
  • Drosophila
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Isoelectric Focusing


  • Antibodies
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone