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Coiled bodies are nuclear organelles that contain components of at least three RNA-processing pathways: pre-mRNA splicing, histone mRNA 3'- maturation, and pre-rRNA processing. Their function remains unknown. However, it has been speculated that coiled bodies may be sites of splicing factor assembly and/or recycling, play a role in histone mRNA 3'-processing, or act as nuclear transport or sorting structures. To study the dynamics of coiled bodies in living cells, we have stably expressed a U2B"-green fluorescent protein fusion in tobacco BY-2 cells and in Arabidopsis plants. Time-lapse confocal microscopy has shown that coiled bodies are mobile organelles in plant cells. We have observed movements of coiled bodies in the nucleolus, in the nucleoplasm, and from the periphery of the nucleus into the nucleolus, which suggests a transport function for coiled bodies. Furthermore, we have observed coalescence of coiled bodies, which suggests a mechanism for the decrease in coiled body number during the cell cycle. Deletion analysis of the U2B" gene construct has shown that the first RNP-80 motif is sufficient for localization to the coiled body.

Original publication




Journal article


Mol Biol Cell

Publication Date





2297 - 2307


Arabidopsis, Biological Transport, Cell Cycle, Cell Nucleus, Gene Expression Regulation, Plant, Green Fluorescent Proteins, Luminescent Proteins, Microscopy, Confocal, Microscopy, Fluorescence, Organelles, Phosphorylation, Plant Cells, Plants, Plants, Toxic, Recombinant Fusion Proteins, Ribonucleoprotein, U2 Small Nuclear, Sequence Deletion, Tobacco, Transcription, Genetic