Isolation, properties and cellular distribution of D1, a chromosomal protein of Drosophila

Chromosoma. 1980;78(1):1-31. doi: 10.1007/BF00291907.


The protein D1 was obtained from nuclei of Drosophila melanogaster embryos and purified by perchloric acid fractionation and preparative gel electrophoresis. In nuclei its amount is approximately 1% of the amount of DNA by weight. D1 is soluble in 5% perchloric acid and extractable from nuclei by solutions of moderate ionic strength (0.35 M NaCl). Amino acid analysis shows that it is rich in both basic (20%) and acidic (27%) aminoacids. In all these properties D1 resembles HMG proteins (high mobility group; Johns et al., 1975) of vertebrates; however, its apparent molecular weight (approximately 50,000) is much higher. The distribution of D1 in salivary gland polytene chromosomes was investigated by immunofluorescence. Two levels of fluorescence intensity were observed: 1) Very bright fluorescence at chromosomal positions 81F, 83E, 101F, 102C and 102F; these sites are shown, by double labeling techniques, to coincide with quinacrine bright sites. 2) Medium to low fluorescence at many sites widely distributed throughout all chromosomes. In order to interpret these results and to relate them to the in vivo distribution of D1, we have investigated the pattern of immunofluorescence staining as a function of the methods of chromosome preparation and salivary gland fixation. The immunological specificity of the anti-D1 serum was studied by comparing its reactivity with D. melanogaster and D. virilis chromosome spreads and whole salivary glands, and by using reagents that minimize non-specific antibody interactions. We conclude that D1 is widely distributed throughout cytoplasm and nucleus, present in many chromomeres but most abundant in chromosomal sites that contain the AT-rich satellite DNA of density 1.672. This distribution, together with available evidence about the nucleotide sequences present in this satellite, suggests that D1 binds preferentially to chromatin containing sequences AATAT and/or AATATAT.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / analysis
  • Animals
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / analysis
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / isolation & purification*
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Salivary Glands / metabolism
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Amino Acids
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone