The class of nonhistone chromosomal proteins that remains bound to DNA in chromatin in the presence of 2.5 M NaCl-5 M urea has proven refractile to biochemical analysis. In order to study its role in chromatin organization, we have produced monoclonal antibodies that are specific for the HeLa DNA-protein complex that remains after extraction of chromatin with high salt and urea. The antibody-producing clones were identified with an ELISA assay. Of the six clones selected, five were stabilized by limiting dilution. All clones are IgG producers. None cross-react significantly with native DNA, core histones, or the high-mobility group nonhistone proteins. All antibodies are specific for nuclear or juxtanuclear antigens. Indirect immunofluorescence shows that three antibodies, which are nonidentical, stain three different nuclear networks. Available evidence indicates that two of these networks are the nuclear matrix. A fourth antibody reveals structures reminiscent of chromocenters. A fifth antibody, AhNA-1, binds to interphase HeLa chromatin and specifically decorates metaphase chromosomes. AhNA-1 similarly recognizes rat chromosomes. Each of these monoclonal antibodies also reveals a changing pattern of nuclear staining as cells progress through the cell cycle. Presumably, this reflects the rearrangement of the cognate antigens.

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