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Acta Histochem. 1996 Apr;98(2):113-21.

A new monoclonal antibody for specific immunocytochemical staining of nucleoli.

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Department of Pathology, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


We have isolated a hybridoma cell line (clone 1E10) producing a monoclonal antibody which specifically recognizes nucleoli. The antibody (IgM, k isotype) was found to react in a nucleolar pattern with a variety of cell types. Specific staining was only obtained on cryostat sections of unfixed tissues. Paraffin embedding destroyed the epitope. Tissue specificity or species specificity was not observed. Nucleoli in neoplastic cells were highly reactive, presumably due to the larger size of nucleoli in these cells. Immunoelectron-microscopy (using a pre-embedding as well as a post-embedding technique) confirmed the specific nucleolar localization of the immunoreactivity. Immunoreactivity was confined to the granular component of the nucleolus. The intensity of the immunoreactivity increased after cell or tissue pretreatment with DNase, pronase or trypsin, indicating that the target epitope is not DNA or a protein. On Western blots of immunoreactive cells no specific signal was obtained, which supports the non-protein nature of the epitope. Acid hydrolysis and RNase digestion abolished the immunoreactivity. Parallel staining experiments with methylgreen pyronin and acridin orange confirmed the RNA nature of the epitope. In spot blots, immunoreactivity was not found with tRNA or mRNA. These observations indicate that 1E10 recognizes a conformational RNA epitope which occurs only in the nucleolus.

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