Differentiation of lens and neural cells in chicken embryos is accompanied by simultaneous decay of DNA replication machinery.

Abstract:

DNA polymerase alpha was detected in cells of developing chicken embryos by an immunofluorescent method using a monoclonal antibody specific for the high molecular weight polypeptide of chicken DNA polymerase alpha, and DNA polymerase beta was detected using a rabbit anti-chicken DNA polymerase beta antibody. In lens tissue of the 3- to 4-day chicken embryo, fluorescence with anti-DNA polymerase alpha antibody was detected in nuclei of lens epithelial cells but not in nuclei of lens fiber cells which had differentiated from epithelial cells. The localization of cells containing DNA polymerase alpha coincided with the distribution of cells capable of DNA replication as detected by [3H]thymidine autoradiography. Similar results were obtained during the differentiation of neural matrix cells to neuroblasts in the developing neural tube. In contrast to DNA polymerase alpha, DNA polymerase beta was detected in nuclei of both undifferentiated and differentiated cells of these tissues. Since the disappearance of DNA polymerase alpha was very rapid after the onset of differentiation, the DNA replication machinery in which DNA polymerase alpha plays a central role is thought to decay almost simultaneously with the onset of cellular differentiation in these tissues.

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