Centromeric protein bodies on avian lampbrush chromosomes contain a protein detectable with an antibody against DNA topoisomerase II
In the oocyte nuclei (germinal vesicle or GV) of a variety of avian species, prominent spherical entities termed protein bodies (PBs) arise at the centromeric regions of the lampbrush chromosomes (LBCs). In spite of the obvious protein nature of PBs, nothing is known about their composition. We show that an antibody against DNA topoisomerase II (topo II), the DNA unwinding enzyme, recognizes PBs from chaffinch and pigeon oocytes. In later chaffinch oocytes, the PBs fuse to form a karyosphere, which is also labeled by the anti-topo II antibody. Furthermore, we show that proteins characteristic of Cajal bodies and B-snurposomes are not found in PBs, despite morphological similarities among these structures. Using immunoelectron microscopy and immunofluorescent laser scanning microscopy we demonstrated that topo II localizes predominantly in the dense material of PBs. Two antigens of ∼170 kDa (which corresponds to topo II) and ∼100 kDa were revealed with the antibody against topo II on immunoblots of avian GV proteins. We propose that the smaller protein results from oocyte specific topo II cleavage, since it was not detected in nuclei from testis cells. This represents the first report of a defined protein in the centromeric PBs on avian LBCs.
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