The Drosophila melanogaster homologue of the hsp60 gene is encoded by the essential locus l(1)10Ac and is differentially expressed during fly development
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The hsp60 (heat-shock protein 60) gene family of molecular chaperones has been a subject of study in numerous systems due to its important role in the correct folding of non-native proteins in development as well as after heat-shock treatment. Here we present the characterization of the first Drosophila hsp60 homologue. Drosophila HSP60 is most closely related (72% identity across the entire protein sequence) to the mouse mitochondrial HSP60. Western blot experiments indicate that Drosophila HSP60 is enriched in the mitochondrial fraction. The distribution of HSP60 protein is dynamic during fly embryogenesis, suggesting that various cell types might have different HSP60 requirements. The molecular analysis of a P-element-induced mutation that affects the l(1)10Ac locus shows that the transposon is inserted in a 3-kb intron present in the hsp60 gene. By genetic rescue experiments we prove that Drosophila HSP60 is encoded by the essential locus l(1)10Ac opening the possibility for detailed genetic analysis of HSP60 functions in the fly.
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