Six different proteins are found to be reproducibly exposed on the cell surface of chicken embryo fibroblasts (CEF) by the criterion of lactoperoxidase-catalyzed iodination (250,000, 185,000, 130,000, 100,000, 87,000, and 75,000 daltons). We wondered whether cell enucleation might lead to a differential partition of these surface proteins with the karyoplast or cytoplast membrane. We found that there is a marked enrichment of most iodinatable cell surface proteins in the cytoplast after cytochalasin-mediated enucleation of cell monolayers. Nearly all the iodinatable fibronectin remains with the cytoplast. Of the six labeled proteins, the karyoplast membrane contains a small amount of the 130 kdalton protein as well as trace levels of the 100-, 85-, and 75-kdalton proteins. Proteolysis or selective shedding of membrane proteins were not significant factors in the relative exclusion of iodinatable membrane proteins from the karyoplast. The cytoplast could replace some exposed membrane proteins after removal by trypsinization; however, fibronectin was not detectable within 10 h. That the karyoplast was not capable of membrane protein synthesis and/or insertion was suggested by the lack of any change in the labeling pattern of karyoplasts up to 8-h incubation after enucleation. A variety of control studies indicated that the surface proteins identified in this report were cell-derived and not adsorbed serum components. That some of the iodinatable proteins are intrinsic membrane proteins was suggested by their resistance to removal by conditions thought to extract extrinsic membrane proteins (i.e., low salt, high salt, and NaOH washes). lack of effect of cytoskeletal disrupting agents (preliminary evidence) suggests the nonrandom partition of membrane proteins may depend on anchoring of membrane proteins by a system(s) in the cytoplast other than intact microtubules and microfilaments.

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