Variation of NimC1 expression in Drosophila stocks and transgenic strains
The NimC1 molecule has been described as a phagocytosis receptor, and is being used as a marker for professional phagocytes, the plasmatocytes, in Drosophila melanogaster. In studies including tumor-biology, developmental biology, and cell mediated immunity, monoclonal antibodies (P1a and P1b) to the NimC1 antigen are used. As we observed that these antibodies did not react with plasmatocytes of several strains and genetic combinations, a molecular analysis was performed on the structure of the nimC1 gene. In these strains we found 2 deletions and an insertion within the nimC1 gene, which may result in the production of a truncated NimC1 protein. The NimC1 positivity was regained by recombining the mutation with a wild-type allele or by using nimC1 mutant lines under heterozygous conditions. By means of these procedures or using the recombined stock, NimC1 can be used as a marker for phagocytic cells in the majority of the possible genetic backgrounds.