The relative three-dimensional co-location of RNA polymerase I (RPI) and DNA was studied using confocal laser scanning microscopy during interphase and all the steps of mitosis in human cancerous cells. For each step of the cell cycle, immunolabeled RPI molecules and DNA specifically stained with chromomycin A3 were simultaneously imaged at high resolution through numerous optical sections. Then, all the data obtained were used to generate transverse sections, anaglyphs and volumic representations, which are all prerequisite approaches to a representative study of the three-dimensional organization of the nucleolus and the mitotic chromosomes. Our results indicated that in the interphasic nuclei, in which DNA is organized as a regular 3-D network, RPI was present within numerous irregular spheres arranged as several twisted necklaces. During metaphase, RPI labeling was segregated into pairs of spheres and typical crescent-shaped structures; both were centrally located within the set of chromosomes. During anaphase and telophase, a typical central and symmetric arrangement of labeled structures was systematically seen among the decondensing chromosomes, arranged as a regular cylinder and as a hollow half-sphere, respectively. This typical 3-D organization of structures containing RPI relative to DNA is another strong example of the non-random organization of the genome during interphase and mitosis.
Three-dimensional co-location of RNA polymerase I and DNA during interphase and mitosis by confocal microscopy
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N. Gilbert, L. Lucas, C. Klein, M. Menager, N. Bonnet, D. Ploton; Three-dimensional co-location of RNA polymerase I and DNA during interphase and mitosis by confocal microscopy. J Cell Sci 1 January 1995; 108 (1): 115–125. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/jcs.108.1.115
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