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Exp Cell Res. 1992 Jun;200(2):339-50.

Centromere autoantigens are associated with the nucleolus.

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W. M. Keck Autoimmune Disease Center, Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California 92037.


Because of their importance as target antigens in scleroderma and since all other major autoantigens in scleroderma can be localized to the interphase nucleolus, we were interested in a further investigation of the potential relationship between interphase centromeres and the nucleolus. Using human anticentromere autoantibodies (ACA) from patients with the CREST form of scleroderma as probes in indirect immunofluorescence microscopy, we observed nonrandom interphase "clumping" of centromeres in a distribution suggestive of nucleoli. By double-label immunofluorescence comparing the localization of centromeres to nucleolar proteins Ki-67, fibrillarin, or protein B23 (nucleophosmin), interphase centromeres appeared to be localized around and within nucleoli. A number of different ACA sera were tested on HEp-2, HeLa, PtK2, Indian muntjac, 3T3, and NRK cells, all with identical results indicating colocalization between centromeres and nucleoli. Immunoelectron microscopy revealed that interphase centromeres were distributed free in the nucleoplasm, in contact with the nuclear envelope, in contact with and on the periphery of nucleoli, and totally embedded within the confines of the nucleolus itself. Interestingly, actinomycin D treatment dissociated centromeres from localization within the segregated nucleolus. To determine if interphase centromeres were integral components of nucleoli, nucleoli were isolated according to classical methods. By double-label immunofluorescence, immunoelectron microscopy, and Western blotting, it was demonstrated that centromere autoantigens copurified with isolated nucleoli. These studies offer proof that some interphase centromeres can be associated with, and may even be considered part of, the interphase nucleolus. Furthermore, all of the major autoantigens in scleroderma can now be localized to the nucleolus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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