Statin, a 57,000-D protein characteristically found in nonreplicating cells, was identified by a monoclonal antibody produced by hybridomas established from mice injected with extracts of in vitro aged human fibroblasts (Wang, E., 1985, J. Cell Biol., 100:545-551). Fluorescence staining with the antibody shows that the expression of statin disappears upon reinitiation of the process for cell replication. The rapid de-expression is observed in fibroblasts involved in the in vitro wound-healing process, as well as in cells that have been subcultured after trypsinization and replated from a confluent culture. Kinetic analysis shows that 50% of the cell population lose their statin expression at 12 h after replating, before the actual events of mitosis. Immunogold labeling with highly purified antibodies localizes the protein at the nuclear envelope in nonreplicating cells, but not in their replicating counterparts. Immunoblotting analysis confirms the disappearance of statin in cells that have reentered the cycling process. Using the technique of flow cytometry to examine the large number of nonreplicating fibroblasts in confluent cultures, we have found that statin is mostly expressed in those cells showing the least amount of DNA content, whose growth is blocked at the G0/G1 stage of the cell cycle. This close correlation is rapidly altered once the cells are released from the confluent state. These results suggest that the expression of statin may be regulated by a fine mechanism controlling the transition from the nonreplicating to the replicating state, and that the protein is structurally associated with the nuclear envelope.

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