Worm Breeder's Gazette 3(2): 25
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.
The body-walls of Caenorhabditis two different myosin heavy chains that associate to form at least two species of myosin. In order to better define the distribution of these heavy chains in myosin molecules, we have characterized the myosin of C. elegans by immunochemical methods. Specific, precipitating anti-myosin antibody has been prepared in rabbits using highly purified nematode myosin as the immunogen. The difference in reactivity of the anti-myosin antibody with wild-type myosin containing both kinds of heavy chains (designated unc-54 and non-unc- 54 heavy chains on the basis of genetic specification) and myosin from the mutant E190 that lacks unc-54 heavy chain indicates that there are antigenic differences between myosin molecules containing unc-54 heavy chains and myosin molecules containing only non-unc-54 myosin heavy chains. Antibody specific for the unc-54 myosin determinants has been prepared by the immunoadsorption of anti-myosin antibody with E190 myosin. This specific antiunc-54 myosin antibody precipitates myosin that contains only unc-54 heavy chains. At the limits of resolution of our immunoprecipitation techniques, no heterodimeric myosin molecules that contain both unc-54 and non-unc-54 heavy chains can be detected. Therefore, the body-wall myosins of C. elegans exist only as homodimers of either class of heavy chain. This specific anti-unc-54 myosin antibody promises to be a valuable tool in understanding the role of two myosins in body-wall muscle and in molecular characterizations of mutant myosins in C. elegans. We report here the use of this antibody to detect antigenic differences between unc-54 myosin from the wild-type and the muscle mutant E675. In conjunction with the original anti-myosin antibody, other studies show that both unc-54 and non-unc-54 myosins exist within the same body-wall muscle cells (See Mackenzie, Schachat and Epstein) and that both myosins are coordinately synthesized during muscle development in C. elegans (See Garcea, Schachat and Epstein).