The effects of several concentrations of puromycin on the nucleoproteins of HeLa cells grown in monolayers were studied by cytochemical and biochemical techniques. The earliest change at all concentrations of puromycin was a decrease in a granular form of ribonucleoprotein (RNP) that is demonstrable in the normal HeLa cell by the toluidine blue-molybdate (TBM) stain. The other types of RNP revealed by the TBM method were unaltered although the cell volume decreased markedly. Treatment with high concentrations of the antimetabolite resulted in pre-prophase inhibition of mitotic division and led to production of inclusions containing RNP in the cytoplasm; lower concentrations resulted in metaphase arrest. Biochemical analyses confirmed the cytochemical observations and indicated that synthesis of RNA and protein was inhibited to the same extent.

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