The structure of the eggs of the sea urchin, Arbacia punctulata, has been investigated after the removal of one-half of the cellular protein. The procedure involves treatment of the eggs with 30 per cent ethanol at -10°C. followed by extraction of the soluble proteins with water. The eggs remain intact, although all of the cytoplasmic matrix is removed. Most cell structures can still be identified, although only the membranes of most remain. The mitochondria lose all of their matrix but retain the inner membranes or cristae.
The annulate lamellae appear unaffected by this extraction procedure, remaining intact and apparently undamaged. The nuclear envelope is also retained, although it often undergoes a curious disorganization, apparently as the result of the separation of its two layers. The significance of these observations with respect to the structure of the envelope is discussed.