After immunofluorescent staining with two antibodies, the protein XCAP-D2 is evident in red on the lampbrush chromosomes (green) in the nucleus of a frog oocyte. The red signal is associated with highly condensed but transcriptionally inactive regions, while the green indicates long loops of intense transcription.
Photo courtesy of Michel Bellini
Researchers studying the nuclei of frog oocytes in early stages of meiosis -- the cell division that gives rise to germ cells -- have found that two key proteins remain apart at a crucial time before condensation occurs. One of the proteins, they say, may be important in the early organization of chromosomes and later may recruit the other.
In the August issue of the journal Chromosome Research, scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign detail how they used antibodies to the proteins, XCAP-E and XCAP-D2, and confocal laser scanning microscopy to zero in on the proteins’ precise locations inside the nuclei of gametes of the African frog Xenopus laevis.
(The research will be on display as a poster presentation Aug. 17-22 during the Gorden Research Conference on Plasmid & Chromosome Dynamics in Tilton, N.J.)
Jim Barlow | UIUC
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