The amorphous nucleoplasm of the germinal vesicle nucleus of Xenopus laevis oocytes has been selectively extracted under conditions which leave the nuclear formed elements morphologically intact. The nucleoplasm contains about 97% of the total nuclear proteins and on SDS-polyacrylamide gels some 68 polypeptides can be distinguished. On the basis of solubility differences, the nucleoplasmic proteins can be classified into two categories. The first consists of soluble or easily solubilized proteins which comprise about 34 polypeptides making up 87% of the nucleoplasm. A few of these proteins show electrophoretic mobilities similar to those of soluble proteins of the cytoplasm, but most are unique to the nucleus. The residual 13% of the nucleoplasmic proteins are tightly bound to a nucleoplasmic gel and can be extracted only by solubilizing the gel. The solubility characteristics of the proteinaceous gel suggest a complex held together by salt, nonpolar, hydrogen, and possibly disulfide bonding. Some 34 polypeptides can be distinguished in this gel fraction, including prominent and highly enriched polypeptides of about 115,000 and 46,000 daltons. The relatively soluble fraction of the nucleoplasm does not contain informofers and contains little or no nucleic acid. Evidence is presented that if histones are present in the germinal vesicle, they can comprise no more than about 8% of the total protein. The possibility is discussed that the unique polypeptides of the nucleoplasm may be sequestered there by selective adsorption to or in the nuclear gel.

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