Incubation of Drosophila salivary glands with radioactive diisopropyl fluorophosphate results in the uniform labeling of polytene chromosomes. Extensive labeling is seen only when chromosome squashes are prepared by a formaldehyde fixation procedure and not by standard acetic acid techniques. The labeling is inhibited in the presence of tosylphenylalanine chloromethyl ketone and phenylmethane sulfonylfluoride but not by tosyllysine chloromethyl ketone, suggesting that a chymotrypsin-like serine protease is associated with the chromosomes. Protease inhibitors show no apparent effect on heat-shock specific puffing.

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