By means of a monoclonal antibody (BH3), we have identified a 57-kD protein (p57) that in interphase is restricted largely to the perinuclear region of the cell. Double label immunofluorescence microscopy suggests localization of p57 to the Golgi complex and associated membranous structures. Protease protection experiments and chemical extractability indicate that p57 is a peripheral membrane protein exposed to the cytoplasm. p57 displays unique behavior during mitosis. At the end of G2 or in early prophase, p57 leaves the perinuclear region and accumulates very rapidly within the nucleus, at a time when the nuclear envelope is still intact and before nuclear lamina disassembly. This relocation of p57 coincides with its hyperphosphorylation on serine and threonine residues. After nuclear envelope breakdown p57 becomes uniformly distributed throughout the mitotic cytoplasm until in late telophase when it returns to its perinuclear location and is once again excluded from the nucleus. The behavior of p57 during mitosis suggests that it may play a role in the cellular reorganization evident during mitotic prophase.

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