Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Sites of replication in synchronized HeLa cells were visualized by light and electron microscopy; cells were permeabilized and incubated with biotin-16-dUTP, and incorporation sites were immunolabelled. Electron microscopy of thick resinless sections from which approximately 90% chromatin had been removed showed that most DNA synthesis occurs in specific dense structures (replication factories) attached to a diffuse nucleoskeleton. These factories appear at the end of G1-phase and quickly become active; as S-phase progresses, they increase in size and decrease in number like sites of incorporation seen by light microscopy. Electron microscopy of conventional thin sections proved that these factories are a subset of nuclear bodies; they changed in the same characteristic way and contained DNA polymerase alpha and proliferating cell nuclear antigen. As replication factories can be observed and labelled in non-permeabilized cells, they cannot be aggregation artifacts. Some replication occurs outside factories at discrete sites on the diffuse skeleton; it becomes significant by mid S-phase and later becomes concentrated beneath the lamina.


Journal article


J Cell Sci

Publication Date



107 ( Pt 8)


2191 - 2202


Biotin, Cell Membrane Permeability, Cell Nucleus, Chromatin, Chromosomes, DNA Polymerase II, DNA Replication, Deoxyuracil Nucleotides, HeLa Cells, Humans, Microscopy, Immunoelectron, Models, Genetic, Nuclear Matrix, Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen, S Phase