Polytene chromosome squash methods for studying transcription and epigenetic chromatin modification in Drosophila using antibodies

Kristen M. Johansen*, Weili Cai, Huai Deng, Xiaomin Bao, Weiguo Zhang, Jack Girton, Jørgen Johansen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

The giant polytene chromosomes from Drosophila third instar larval salivary glands provide an important model system for studying the architectural changes in chromatin morphology associated with the process of transcription initiation and elongation. Especially, analysis of the heat shock response has proved useful in correlating chromatin structure remodeling with transcriptional activity. An important tool for such studies is the labeling of polytene chromosome squash preparations with antibodies to the enzymes, transcription factors, or histone modifications of interest. However, in any immunohistochemical experiment there will be advantages and disadvantages to different methods of fixation and sample preparation, the relative merits of which must be balanced. Here we provide detailed protocols for polytene chromosome squash preparation and discuss their relative pros and cons in terms of suitability for reliable antibody labeling and preservation of high resolution chromatin structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-397
Number of pages11
JournalMethods
Volume48
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2009

Keywords

  • Antibody labeling
  • Chromatin structure
  • Drosophila
  • Fixation conditions
  • Pol II
  • Polytene squash preparations
  • Transcription

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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