Localisation of reiterated nucleotide sequences in Drosophila and mouse by in situ hybridisation of complementary RNA

Research paper by Kenneth W. Jones, Forbes W. Robertson

Indexed on: 01 Sep '70Published on: 01 Sep '70Published in: Chromosoma


The location of highly reiterated nucleotide sequences on the chromosomes has been studied by the technique of in situ hybridisation between the DNA of either Drosophila melanogaster salivary gland chromosomes or mouse chromosomes and tritium labelled complementary RNA (c-RNA) transcribed in vitro from appropriate templates with the aid of DNA dependent RNA polymerase extracted from Micrococcus lysodeikticus. The location of the hybrid material was identified by autoradiography after RNase treatment. — When Drosophila c-RNA, transcribed from whole DNA, was annealed with homologous salivary chromosomes in the presence of formamide the well defined labelling was confined to the chromocentre. With heat instead of formamide denaturation there was evidence of discontinuous labelling in various chromosome regions as well, apparently associated with banding. Xenopus ribosomal RNA showed no evidence of annealing to Drosophila chromosomes with the comparatively short exposure times used here. — When mouse satellite DNA was used as template the resulting c-RNA showed no hybridisation to Drosophila chromosomes but, when annealed with mouse chromosomes, the centromeric regions were intensely labelled. The interphase nuclei showed several distinct regions of high activity which suggested aggregation of centromeric regions of both homologous and non-homologous chromosomes. The results of annealing either c-RNA or labelled satellite DNA to homologous chromosomes were virtually indistinguishable. Incubation of Drosophila c-RNA with mouse chromosomes provided no evidence of localisation of grains. — It is inferred that both in mouse and Drosophila the centromeric regions of all chromosomes are enriched in highly reiterated sequences. This may be a general phenomenon and it might be tentatively suggested that the highly reiterated sequences play some role in promoting the close physical approximation of homologous and non-homologous chromosomes or chromosome regions to facilitate regulation of function.