A cellular protein of 36,000 daltons becomes phosphorylated at tyrosine in chicken embryo fibroblasts transformed with avian sarcoma viruses. We have used cellular fractionation and immunofluorescence to locate the 36-kdalton protein in virus-transformed and uninfected chicken fibroblasts. The 36-kdalton protein in transformed cells fractionated mainly with high-speed particulate material, and in density gradient separations, the 36-kdalton protein was found in association with light density membranes together with most of the plasma membrane marker. Increasing the concentration of salt or adding ion chelators solubilized some of the 36-kdalton protein that otherwise was pelletable with high g forces. Based on these data, we conclude that this protein is peripherally or indirectly attached to light density membranes, including plasma membranes. Indirect immunofluorescent staining of the 36-kdalton protein in fixed cells revealed that it was located inside the cell in an extensive reticulum apposed to surface membranes. The same pattern of staining was found in both uninfected and virus-transformed cells. Pretreatment of cells with nonionic detergents before fixation altered or abolished 36-kdalton staining. The 36-kdalton protein appeared to be excluded from regions of the cells where actin cables were present. The pattern of staining observed with the anti-36-kdalton antibody was similar, but not identical, to that observed with antiserum against nonerythroid spectrin. Thus, the data obtained by biochemical fractionation and by immunofluorescent staining indicate that the 36-kdalton protein is found in a reticulum at the inner surface of the plasma membrane, possibly in association with cytoskeletal proteins.

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