Curvilinear, three-dimensional motion of chromatin domains and nucleoli in neuronal interphase nuclei

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Science  14 Nov 1986:
Vol. 234, Issue 4778, pp. 863-866
DOI: 10.1126/science.3775367


The term "nuclear rotation" refers to a motion of nucleoli within interphase nuclei of several cell types. No mechanism or function has been ascribed to this phenomenon, and it was unknown whether nuclear structures in addition to nucleoli participate in this motion. Moreover, it was unclear whether nuclear rotation occurs independent of concurrent motion of juxtanuclear cytoplasm. The work reported here presents quantitative evidence, for three-dimensional intranuclear, tandem motion of fluorescently labeled chromatin domains associated with nucleoli and those remote from nucleoli. The results show that such motion is curvilinear, that it is not restricted to nucleoli, and, moreover, that it occurs independently of motion of juxtanuclear, cytoplasmic structures. These results suggest that this motion represents karyoplasmic streaming and its function is to transpose to nuclear pores those chromatin domains actively transcribed.