The Drosophila melanogaster Cajal body

Ji Long Liu, Christine Murphy, Michael Buszczak, Sarah Clatterbuck, Robyn Goodman, Joseph G. Gall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

161 Scopus citations


Cajal bodies (CBs) are nuclear organelles that are usually identified by the marker protein p80-coilin. Because no orthologue of coilin is known in Drosophila melanogaster, we identified D. melanogaster CBs using probes for other components that are relatively diagnostic for CBs in vertebrate cells. U85 small CB-specific RNA, U2 small nuclear RNA, the survival of motor neurons protein, and fibrillarin occur together in a nuclear body that is closely associated with the nucleolus. Based on its similarity to CBs in other organisms, we refer to this structure as the D. melanogaster CB. Surprisingly, the D. melanogaster U7 small nuclear RNP resides in a separate nuclear body, which we call the histone locus body (HLB). The HLB is invariably colocalized with the histone gene locus. Thus, canonical CB components are distributed into at least two nuclear bodies in D. melanogaster. The identification of these nuclear bodies now permits a broad range of questions to be asked about CB structure and function in a genetically tractable organism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)875-884
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 13 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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