The polypeptides synthesized during the cell cycle of HeLa cells were analyzed by means of two-dimensional gel electrophoresis followed by fluorography under conditions in which the position of 700 polypeptides (acidic and basic) could be reproducibly assessed. Mitotic cells obtained by mechanical detachment and synchronized cells in other stages of the cell cycle were labeled with [35S]methionine for 30-min pulses or for long terms starting at the beginning of each phase. Visual comparison of the polypeptide maps obtained in the different stages of the cell cycle showed that these were strikingly similar, and there was no indication that the synthesis of any of the detected polypeptides was confined to only one of the cell cycle phases. Quantitation of 99 abundant polypeptides (acidic and basic) in pulse-labeled and long-term labeled cells revealed that the relative amount (i.e., the rate of synthesis) of most polypeptides, including total actin, alpha-actinin, 6 abundant basic nonhistone proteins, and 13 major acidic proteins present in Triton cytoskeletons, remains constant throughout the cell cycle. Among the few variable polypeptides (markers), we have identified alpha- and beta-tubulin (increase in M), the subunit of the 100-A filament protein "fibroblast type" (decreases in M), and a 36,000 mol wt acidic cytoarchitectural protein that increases in S. A few other unidentified polypeptides have also been found to vary in M and in M and G2, but no marker was found in G1.

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