The nuclear lamins are major components of a proteinaceous polymer that is located at the interface of the nuclear membrane and chromatin; these lamins are solubilized and dispersed throughout the cytoplasm during mitosis. It has been postulated that these proteins, assembled into the lamina, provide an architectural framework for the organization of the cell nucleus. To test this hypothesis we microinjected lamin antibodies into cultured PtK2 cells during mitosis, thereby decreasing the soluble pool of lamins. The antibody injected was identified, together with the lamins, in cytoplasmic aggregates by immunoelectron microscopy. We show that microinjected cells are not able to form normal daughter nuclei, in contrast to cells injected with other immunoglobulins. Although cells injected with lamin antibodies are able to complete cytokinesis, the chromatin of their daughter nuclei remains arrested in a telophase-like configuration, and the telophase-like chromatin remains inactive as judged from its condensed state and by the absence of nucleoli. These results indicate that lamins and the nuclear lamina structure are involved in the functional organization of the interphase chromatin.

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