Send to

Choose Destination
Eur J Cell Biol. 1989 Dec;50(2):376-89.

Ultrastructural distribution of ribonucleoprotein complexes during mitosis. snRNP antigens are contained in mitotic granule clusters.

Author information

Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, University of Chicago, IL 60637.


The great majority of snRNP and hnRNP ribonucleoproteins have been shown to be confined to the nucleus except during periods of cell division. We have now determined the fine structure distribution of polypeptides associated with these RNP complexes during interphase and mitosis in mammalian tissue culture cells using immunoelectron microscopy. Many hnRNP antigens are found at the periphery of heterochromatin masses, known to be the sites of non-rRNP proteins initially surround areas of condensing chromatin and later become generally dispersed throughout the mitotic cell. The Sm protein antigens of snRNP complexes are found diffusely distributed in interphase nuclei as well as concentrated in fields of interchromatin granules (ICG). Proteins of snRNP complexes, unlike those of hnRNP, are associated with discernible cellular structures during mitosis. By prometaphase/metaphase, dense granular clusters are observed to contain a high concentration of snRNPs. These mitotic granule clusters (MGCs) are often in close proximity to chromosomal masses by late anaphase/telophase. The MGC structures are morphologically similar to interchromatin granule fields found in interphase nuclei. Furthermore, like interchromatin granules, they are sites of a high concentration of snRNP antigens and do not contain detectable hnRNP proteins or DNA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center