We examined the distribution of nonlamin nuclear matrix antigens during the mitotic cell cycle in mouse 3T3 fibroblasts. Four monoclonal antibodies produced against isolated nuclear matrices were used to characterize antigens by the immunoblotting of isolated nuclear matrix preparations, and were used to localize the antigens by indirect immunofluorescence. For comparison, lamins and histones were localized using human autoimmune antibodies. At interphase, the monoclonal antibodies recognized non-nucleolar and nonheterochromatin nuclear components. Antibody P1 stained the nuclear periphery homogeneously, with some small invaginations toward the interior of the nucleus. Antibody I1 detected an antigen distributed as fine granules throughout the nuclear interior. Monoclonals PI1 and PI2 stained both the nuclear periphery and interior, with some characteristic differences. During mitosis, P1 and I1 were chromosome-associated, whereas PI1 and PI2 dispersed in the cytoplasm. Antibody P1 heavily stained the periphery of the chromosome mass, and we suggest that the antigen may play a role in maintaining interphase and mitotic chromosome order. With antibody I1, bright granules were distributed along the chromosomes and there was also some diffuse internal staining. The antigen to I1 may be involved in chromatin/chromosome higher-order organization throughout the cell cycle. Antibodies PI1 and PI2 were redistributed independently during prophase, and dispersed into the cytoplasm during prometaphase. Antibody PI2 also detected antigen associated with the spindle poles.

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