Drosophila replication and repair proteins: proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA)
Mozzherin, D.J.; McConnell, M.; Fisher, P.A.
Methods 18(3): 401-406
Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), a protein intimately involved in both replication and repair, has been identified in eukaryotes at all levels of evolution. Is primary sequence, Drosophila melanogaster PCNA is 73% identical to mammalian PCNA. Moreover, it is able to substitute for mammalian PCNA in at least one intricate cell-free replication assay. Mutations in the gene for Drosophila PCNA, including some that are temperature sensitive, have been reported. Procedures are described for the biochemical purification of wild-type PCNA from a population of 6- to 18-h-old Drosophila embryos. Procedures were also developed for purification of unmodified wild-type Drosophila PCNA after induction of expression in Escherichia coli. An NH(2)-terminally His-tagged but otherwise wild-type Drosophila PCNA, as well as mutant His-tagged PCNA, were also engineered and purified to apparent homogeneity. Finally, an in situ polyacrylamide gel technique allows DNA polymerase assays to be performed on portions of single adults as well as single Drosophila embryos. This assay should tremendously facilitate systematic genetic studies of metazoan replication and repair.