Archives of insect biochemistry and physiology

Cloning, characterization, and developmental expression of the ribosomal protein S21 gene of the Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata.

PMID 15211551


Ribosomal protein S21 (RpS21) belongs to a small group of ribosomal or ribosome-associated proteins. Mutations in the RpS21 gene cause dominant Minute and recessive lethal tumorous phenotypes in Drosophila melanogaster. Studies in several organisms suggest that RpS21 is involved in the regulation of protein synthesis and cell growth. In this report, we used an RT-PCR fragment of D. melanogaster RpS21 mRNA to clone a RpS21 cDNA from the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata. The isolated cDNA contained both 5' and 3' untranslated regions, and encoded a polypeptide of 83 amino acids with a predicted molecular mass of 9.1 kDa. The deduced protein sequence showed 91% amino acid identity to D. melanogaster RpS21 and strong homology with all known ribosomal S21 proteins. DNA blot hybridization indicated the existence of a single RpS21 gene in the Ceratitis capitata genome. Analysis of the 5' untranslated region revealed the occurrence of a major oligopyrimidine tract at the 5' end, which characterizes most mRNAs undergoing a growth-dependent translational control. Study of the mRNA patterns during development suggested that the expression of Ceratitis RpS21 is temporally regulated at the level of transcription.