Electron microscopic evidence demonstrated that dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) induces formation of giant intranuclear microfilament bundles in the interphase nucleus of a cellular slime mold, Dictyostelium. These giant bundles are approximately giant bundles are approximately 3 micrometer long, 0.85 micrometer wide, and composed of microfilaments 6 nm in diameter. Studies in which glycerinated cells were used showed that these microfilaments bind rabbit skeletal muscle heavy meromyosin, forming typical decorated "arrowhead" structures, and that this binding can be reverted by Mg-adenosine triphosphate. These data verify that the intranuclear microfilaments are the contractile protein actin, and that DMSO affects intranuclear actin, inducing the formation of such giant bundles. The intranuclear actin bundles appear at any developmental stage in two different species of cellular slime molds after treatment with DMSO. The native form of the intranuclear actin molecules and their possible functions are discussed, and it is proposed that the contractile protein has essential functions in the cell nucleus.

This content is only available as a PDF.