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J Ultrastruct Res. 1984 May;87(2):180-9.

Immunocytochemical identification of nuclear structures containing snRNPs in isolated rat liver cells.


Small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) containing U1, U2, U4, U5, and U6 small nuclear RNAs were detected by ultrastructural immunocytochemistry in the nuclei of isolated rat hepatocytes using Fab fragments of anti-Sm and anti-RNP autoantibodies. Their localization was carried out in normal cells and in cells treated with two drugs, the adenosine analog DRB and CdCl2, which alter the number and distribution of nuclear RNP components. It was found that more precise determination of the distribution of these small RNAs could be obtained by using two complementary procedures in parallel rather than either one alone. They consisted of an indirect immunoperoxidase labeling carried out before embedment and an indirect immunogold labeling applied to thin sections of cells embedded in Lowicryl K4M. The results indicate that snRNPs are associated with all extranucleolar perichromatin fibrils and granules and interchromatin fibrils, which confirms that they occur in structures involved in the synthesis and processing of hnRNA. The snRNPs are not associated with nucleolar perichromatin granules induced by DRB, which confirms that there may be two kinds of perichromatin granules. The snRNPs are also associated with the still enigmatic interchromatin granules which apparently do not contain hnRNA but at least in DRB-treated cells, also contain ribosomal RNA.

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