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Fluorescent protein tagging confirms the presence of ribosomal proteins atDrosophilapolytene chromosomes

Rugjee, Kushal Nivriti and Roy Chaudhury, Subhendu and Al-Jubran, Khalid and Ramanathan, Preethi and Matina, Tina and Wen, Jikai and Brogna, Saverio (2013) Fluorescent protein tagging confirms the presence of ribosomal proteins atDrosophilapolytene chromosomes. PeerJ, 1. e15. ISSN 2167-8359

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URL of Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.15

Identification Number/DOI: doi:10.7717/peerj.15



Most ribosomal proteins (RPs) are stoichiometrically incorporated into ribosomal subunits and play essential roles in ribosome biogenesis and function. However, a number of RPs appear to have non-ribosomal functions, which involve direct association with pre-mRNA and transcription factors at transcription sites. The consensus is that the RPs found at these sites are off ribosomal subunits, but observation that different RPs are usually found together suggests that ribosomal or ribosomal-like subunits might be present. Notably, it has previously been reported that antibodies against 20 different RPs stain the same Pol II transcription sites in Drosophila polytene chromosomes. Some concerns, however, were raised about the specificity of the antibodies. To investigate further whether RPs are present at transcription sites in Drosophila, we have generated several transgenic flies expressing RPs (RpS2, RpS5a, RpS9, RpS11, RpS13, RpS18, RpL8, RpL11, RpL32, and RpL36) tagged with either green or red fluorescent protein. Imaging of salivary gland cells showed that these proteins are, as expected, abundant in the cytoplasm as well as in the nucleolus. However, these RPs are also apparent in the nucleus in the region occupied by the chromosomes. Indeed, polytene chromosome immunostaining of a representative subset of tagged RPs confirms the association with transcribed loci. Furthermore, characterization of a strain expressing RpL41 functionally tagged at its native genomic locus with YFP, also showed apparent nuclear accumulation and chromosomal association, suggesting that such a nuclear localization pattern might be a shared feature of RPs and is biologically important. We anticipate that the transgenes described here should provide a useful research tool to visualize ribosomal subunits in Drosophila tissues and to study the non-ribosomal functions of RPs.

Type of Work:Article
Date:2013 (Publication)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Department:School of Biosciences
Subjects:QR Microbiology
Institution:University of Birmingham
Copyright Holders:PeerJ
ID Code:1347
Refereed:YES
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