To determine whether red blood cell-mediated microinjection of antibodies can be used to study nuclear protein localization and function, we microinjected antibodies that have been shown to react specifically with nucleolar acidic phosphoprotein C23 into Walker 256 cells. The intracellular distribution of microinjected anti-C23 antibodies and preimmune immunoglobulins were determined by immunofluorescence. At 3 h after microinjection, affinity-purified anti-C23 antibodies were localized in the cytoplasm and nucleolus. At 17 h after microinjection, the affinity-purified antibody was localized to those nucleolar structures previously shown to contain protein C23. Furthermore, the antibody remained localized in the nucleolus for at least 36 h after microinjection. In contrast to the results obtained with specific antibodies, preimmune immunoglobulins remained in the cytoplasm 36 h after microinjection. These results indicate that red blood cell-mediated microinjection of antibodies can be used to study nucleolar and nuclear antigens.

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