Fusion of an interphase cell with a metaphase cell results in profound changes in the interphase chromatin that have been called "chromosome pulverization" or "premature chromosome condensation" In addition to the usual light microscopy, the nature of the changes has been investigated in the present study with electron microscopy and biochemical techniques Metaphase and interphase cells were mixed and fused at 37°C by means of ultraviolet-inactivated Sendai virus. After cell fusion, morphological changes in interphase nuclei occurred only in binucleate cells which contained one intact set of metaphase chromosomes Irrespective of the nuclear stage at the time of cell fusion, the morphologic changes that occurred 5–20 min later simulated very closely a sequence of events that characterizes the normal G2-prophase transition. Radioautography revealed that, late in the process, substantial amounts of RNA and probably protein were transferred from the interphase nucleus into the cytoplasm of fused cells. Thus, the findings indicate the existence in metaphase cells of factor(s) which are capable of initiating biochemical and morphological events in interphase nuclei intrinsic to the normal mitotic process.

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