We have used fluorescent microscopy to map DNA replication sites in the interphase cell nucleus after incorporation of biotinylated dUTP into permeabilized PtK-1 kangaroo kidney or 3T3 mouse fibroblast cells. Discrete replication granules were found distributed throughout the nuclear interior and along the periphery. Three distinct patterns of replication sites in relationship to chromatin domains in the cell nucleus and the period of S phase were detected and termed type I (early to mid S), type II (mid to late S) and type III (late S). Similar patterns were seen with in vivo replicated DNA using antibodies to 5-bromodeoxyuridine. Extraction of the permeabilized cells with DNase I and 0.2 M ammonium sulfate revealed a striking maintenance of these replication granules and their distinct intranuclear arrangements with the remaining nuclear matrix structures despite the removal of greater than 90% of the total nuclear DNA. The in situ prepared nuclear matrix structures also incorporated biotinylated dUTP into replication granules that were indistinguishable from those detected within the intact nucleus.

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