Procedures for the isolation of HeLa S3 nuclear matrices were re-examined with special emphasis on the use of various nucleases and detergents as well as on the ionic strength of the final salt extraction. The protein composition of the resulting nuclear matrix preparations was analysed by one- and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and found to be extremely reproducible. By means of co-electrophoresis several typical cytoskeletal proteins (actin, vimentin and cytokeratins) and heterogeneous nuclear RNA (hnRNA)-associated core proteins (hnRNP) were shown to be present in such nuclear matrix preparations. The nature of some other protein components was elucidated using two-dimensional immunoblotting and immunofluorescence. For this purpose mouse monoclonal antibodies to cytoskeletal components (vimentin, cytokeratins), small nuclear RNP (70 X 10(3) Mr protein of U1-RNP), hnRNP (C1/C2) and the pore-complex lamina (lamins A, B and C) were used next to human autoimmune sera obtained from patients with connective tissue diseases and directed against the residual nucleoli and the internal fibrillar mass. These antibodies enabled us to identify a number of proteins present specifically in the nuclear matrix and to show that part of the cytoskeletal proteins are still present in the isolated structures.

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