Fluorescein-labeled heavy meromyosin subfragment-1 (F-S-1) has been purified by ion exchange chromatography and characterized in terms of its ability to bind specifically to actin. F-S-1 activates the Mg++-adenosine triphosphatase activity of rabbit skeletal muscle actin and decorates actin as shown by negative stains and thin sections of rabbit actin and rat embryo cell microfilament bundles, respectively. Binding of F-S-1 to cellular structures is prevented by pyrophosphate and by competition with excess unlabeled S-1. The F-S-1 is used in light microscope studies to determine the distribution of actin-containing structures in wnterphase and mitotic rat embryo and rat kangaroo cells. Interphase cells display the familiar pattern of fluorescent stress fibers. Chromosome-to-pole fibers are fluorescent in mitotic cells. The glycerol extraction procedures employed provide an opportunity to examine cells prepared in an identical manner by light and electron microscopy. The latter technique reveals that actin-like microfilaments are identifiable in spindles of glycerinated cells before and after addition of S-1 or HMM. In some cases, microfilaments appear to be closely associated with spindle microtubles. Comparison of the light and electron microscope results aids in the evaluation of the fluorescent myosin fragment technique and provides further evidence for possible structural and functional roles of actin in the mitotic apparatus.

This content is only available as a PDF.