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J Cell Sci. 1991 Sep;100 ( Pt 1):23-33.

Intracellular localization of types I and II collagen mRNA and endoplasmic reticulum in embryonic corneal epithelia.

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Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Boston University School of Medicine, MA 02118.


The intracellular distribution of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and types I and II collagen mRNA was analyzed in whole-mount preparations of freshly isolated corneal epithelia using in situ hybridization combined with confocal laser scanning analysis. The ER stained with DiOC6 (3) was prominent in both the periderm and basal cells. The basal cell ER distribution was perinuclear in the center of the cells, but below the nucleus the ER occupied nearly all of the cytoplasm in a reticular pattern similar to that seen with TEM cross-sections. Initial single label in situ hybridization studies showed that both the periderm and basal cells were positive for both types I and II collagen mRNA. The collagen cDNA probes appeared perinuclear in the center of the basal cells, similar to the DiOC6(3) staining pattern. In double-labeling experiments, the two mRNAs that translate chains of type I collagen, alpha 1 and alpha 2, colocalized within the same cell. However, the hybridization of probes specific for type I and II collagen mRNAs had separate, but overlapping, distributions within the same cell.

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