Worm Breeder's Gazette 10(3): 22

These abstracts should not be cited in bibliographies. Material contained herein should be treated as personal communication and should be cited as such only with the consent of the author.

Looking for Male-Specific Proteins

Christian Ehrenfels, Chris Link and W.B. Wood

We have begun an immunological approach to identifying C.  elegans 
male-specific proteins.  We immunized a rabbit with sonicated L4 and 
adult males, obtaining a high-titer serum that reacted with many 
antigens common to both males and hermaphrodites as assayed on 
immunoblots.  To increase its male-specificity, we treated this serum 
with sonicated adult hermaphrodites.  When assayed on immunoblots with 
separated proteins from males and hermaphrodites, the adsorbed serum 
still showed some reaction with hermaphrodite antigens, but 
comparisons of male and hermaphrodite lanes nevertheless allowed 
identification of a male-specific (or highly male-enriched) protein of 
about 150 kd.  We would ultimately like to screen an expression 
library to identify the gene encoding this 150-kd protein.  To enhance 
the specificity of the adsorbed serum, we have attempted affinity 
adsorption to and elution from gel blots of male proteins in the 150-
kd range.  We have had mixed success with this technique and have not 
yet reproducibly produced an antibody fraction with high specificity 
for the 150-kd protein.