Antibodies were raised in chickens against heterogeneous nuclear RNA (hnRNA)-binding proteins from 30S ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes of mouse Taper hepatoma ascites cell nuclei. The antibody preparations were characterized for immunological specificity and purity by double-diffusion gels, binding to specific bands in SDS polyacrylamide gels, and crossed immunoelectrophoresis. Antibodies raised against either whole 30S RNP complexes or purified RNP core proteins had a strong selective affinity for the four 34,000- to 40,000-dalton polypeptides which comprise the major structural proteins of hnRNP. The intracellular distribution of 30S RNP antigens in mouse ascites cells was determined by indirect immunofluorescence microsacopy. In interphase cells immunofluorescent sites were restricted to the nucleus, and nucleoli were free of fluorescence. The chicken anti-mouse-RNP antibodies were also able to react with cells from many different vertebrate species, showing a similar nucleus-restricted localization of the reacting sites. The antibodies also bound chick 30S RNP-proteins and reacted with the nuclei of chick cells. An exception to this was the failure of the antibody to bind to adult chick erythrocytes, suggesting that these major hnRNA binding proteins may be found only in nuclei capable of RNA synthesis.

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