The AHA1 (activator of Hsp90 ATPase) family of proteins were exclusively conserved from yeast to humans, but little is known about their tissue distribution or biological function. In this study, a cDNA for a Bombyx mori AHA1 homologue, BmAHA1, was isolated from the testes of larvae on day 3 of the fifth instar using an mRNA differential display method.This cDNA encodes a protein with 341 amino acid residues. Gene expression studies revealed that BmAHA1 mRNA occurred prominently in the testes. In situ hybridization and immunostaining showed that the BmAHA1 mRNA signals were strongly detected in spermatogonial cells and primary spermatocytes at the fifth larval instar stage, whereas the BmAha1 protein was abundant in round and elongated spermatids at the pupal stage. The localization pattern of the accumulated protein in the elongated spermatids was reminiscent of that reported previously for microtubules, but the BmAha1 protein showed a decrease in apparent concentration during maturation process. The stage-and cell-specific expression indicated that BmAha1 might play a role in silkworm spermatogenesis, especially in postmeiotic differentiation.
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