Using antibodies to various nucleolar and ribosomal proteins, we define, by immunolocalization in situ, the distribution of nucleolar proteins in the different morphological nucleolar subcompartments. In the present study we describe the nucleolar localization of a specific ribosomal protein (S1) by immunofluorescence and immunoelectron microscopy using a monoclonal antibody (RS1-105). In immunoblotting experiments, this antibody reacts specifically with the largest and most acidic protein of the small ribosomal subunit (S1) and shows wide interspecies cross-reactivity from amphibia to man. Beside its localization in cytoplasmic ribosomes, this protein is found to be specifically localized in the granular component of the nucleolus and in distinct granular aggregates scattered over the nucleoplasm. This indicates that ribosomal protein S1, in contrast to reports on other ribosomal proteins, is not bound to nascent pre-rRNA transcripts but attaches to preribosomes at later stages of rRNA processing and maturation. This protein is not detected in the residual nucleolar structures of cells inactive in rRNA synthesis such as amphibian and avian erythrocytes. During mitosis, the nucleolar material containing ribosomal protein S1 undergoes a remarkable transition and shows a distribution distinct from that of several other nucleolar proteins. In prophase, the nucleolus disintegrates and protein S1 appears in numerous small granules scattered throughout the prophase nucleus. During metaphase and anaphase, a considerable amount of this protein is found in association with the surfaces of all chromosomes and finely dispersed in the cell plasm. In telophase, protein S1-containing material reaccumulates in granular particles in the nucleoplasm of the newly formed nuclei and, finally, in the re-forming nucleoli. These observations indicate that the nucleolus-derived particles containing ribosomal protein S1 are different from cytoplasmic ribosomes and, in the living cell, are selectively recollected after mitosis into the newly formed nuclei and translocated into a specific nucleolar subcompartment, i.e., the granular component. The nucleolar location of ribosomal protein S1 and its rearrangement during mitosis is discussed in relation to the distribution of other nucleolar proteins.

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