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Exp Cell Res. 1992 Apr;199(2):262-8.

Cell cycle-dependent migration of the DNA-binding protein Ku80 into nucleoli.

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Graduate Institute of Microbiology and Immunology, National Yang-Ming Medical College, Taiwan, Republic of China.


The DNA-binding protein Ku (p70/p80) was originally discovered through the use of human autoimmune sera. In attempts to search out nucleolar proteins in relation to nucleolar dynamic changes, we developed monoclonal antibodies against nuclear proteins. One antibody, termed LL1, received particular attention since asynchronous cells exhibited tremendous differences in their nucleolar fluorescence intensities after immunostaining. The LL1 protein was proven to be the Ku subunit p80 (Ku80) by cDNA cloning and sequencing. Possible correlations between the heterogeneous distribution of Ku80 in nucleoli and the cell cycle were examined. HeLa cells were synchronized at M phase by arrest with nocodazole, or at the G1/S boundary by sequential treatments with thymidine and aphidicolin. These cells were then released by culturing in fresh medium to allow the cell cycle to progress synchronously. Immunofluorescent detection of Ku80 revealed that nucleoli of the cells at the G1/S boundary had very small amounts of Ku80, which was mainly present in the nucleoplasm. Ku80 was gradually accumulated in nucleoli during S phase and reached the maximum at late S or G2 phase. Immunoblotting experiments showed that cell extracts prepared from different phases of the cell cycle had virtually identical amounts of Ku80. These results suggest that Ku80 migrates from nucleoplasm to nucleoli in a cell cycle-dependent manner.

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