A panel of monoclonal antibodies with known specificity for the well-characterized nicotinic acetylcholine receptor from the electroplax of Torpedo californica, many of which cross-react with the mammalian muscle acetylcholine receptor, were examined for cross-reactivity in the fly, Drosophila melanogaster. Monoclonal antibodies with specificities for different epitopes on the transmembrane receptor complex from Torpedo cross-react with different regional subsets of neural tissue in Drosophila. Axonal tracts, neuropil, mechano-sensory bristle elements and photoreceptors, each are detected by separate monoclonal antibody classes corresponding to different epitope domains. A preliminary characterization of an antigenic determinant in Drosophila heads recognized by one of the cross-reacting monoclonal antibodies is presented. Monoclonal antibodies such as these may be useful in identifying molecules of homologous structure or function, possibly including a neuronal acetylcholine receptor.
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