In this article we show a Triton-insoluble, intermediate filament-associated protein of approximately 70 kD to be expressed ubiquitously in diverse mammalian cell types. This protein, assigned the name beta-internexin, exhibits extreme homology in each of the various cell lines as demonstrated by identical limited peptide maps, similar mobilities on two-dimensional gels, and detection in Triton-soluble and -insoluble extracts. beta-Internexin also shares some degree of homology with alpha-internexin, an intermediate filament-associated protein isolated and purified from rat spinal cord, which accounts for the immunologic cross-reactivity displayed by these polypeptides. Light microscopic immunolocalization of beta-internexin with a monoclonal antibody (mAb-IN30) reveals it to be closely associated with the vimentin network in fibroblasts. The antigen is also observed to collapse with the vimentin reticulum during the formation of a juxtanuclear cap induced by colchicine treatment. Ultrastructural localization, using colloidal gold, substantiates the affinity of beta-internexin for cytoplasmic filaments and, in addition, demonstrates its apparent exclusion from the intranuclear filament network. We examine also the resemblance of beta-internexin to a microtubule-associated polypeptide and the constitutively synthesized mammalian heat shock protein (HSP 68/70).

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