Worm Breeder's Gazette 9(3): 63
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 sperm of the nematode, Caenorhabditis lagellated amoeboid cells which contain almost no actin, myosin or tubulin. The sperm do contain several sperm-specific proteins including one, the Major Sperm Protein (MSP), that is 15% of the total protein. The MSP are encoded by a large multigene family. We raised polyclonal antisera against gel purified proteins in order to study the developmental localization of other sperm-specific proteins. Antiserum raised against sperm protein '10' ( molecular weight 13 Kd, pI of 7.0) was used to show that it is segregated to the spermatids and is ultimately localized in the pseudopod. Preliminary evidence shows protein '10' to be associated with the pseudopod membrane. The gene for protein '10' has been cloned by screening a lambda gt11 genomic expression library using this antiserum (library gift of R. Barstead). Northern analysis reveals a transcript of 425bp that is expressed only during spermatogenesis. Southern analysis of C. elegans DNA shows this gene to be single copy in contrast to the multigene family that encodes the Major Sperm Protein (MSP). Genomic and cDNA clones have been isolated. Restriction map analysis reveals the expected fragment size from genomic worm DNA Southerns. The gene has been physically mapped to chromosome 4 (A. Coulson, J. Sulston and D. Albertson) in a region that contains many MSP genes and other sperm- specific genes. The clustering of sperm-specific genes might then be a possible mechanism for coordinate regulation.