Dynamic movements of Ro52 cytoplasmic bodies along microtubules

Histochem Cell Biol. 2010 Mar;133(3):273-84. doi: 10.1007/s00418-009-0669-y. Epub 2009 Dec 16.


The RING-finger protein Ro52/TRIM21 is known as an autoantigen and is recognized by anti-Ro/SSA antibodies, which are commonly found in patients with Sjögren's syndrome and systemic lupus erythematosus. Recently, Ro52 has been shown to localize to distinct structures called cytoplasmic bodies and function as an E3 ubiquitin ligase. However, the Ro52 cytoplasmic bodies have not been well characterized. In this study, we investigated the Ro52 cytoplasmic bodies using fluorescence microscopy. This analysis revealed that the Ro52 cytoplasmic bodies are diffusely located in the cytoplasm and exist independently of TRIM5alpha cytoplasmic bodies. Our results further showed that the Ro52 cytoplasmic bodies are not stained with MitoTracker dye and are not colocalized with the proteasome subunit Rpt5, the caveolae component caveolin-1, the endosome markers (EEA1, Rab5, and Rab7), and the lysosome marker LAMP2. These results indicate that the Ro52 cytoplasmic bodies are not mitochondria, proteasome-enriched structures, caveolae, endosomes, or lysosomes. Importantly, the Ro52 cytoplasmic bodies are highly motile and are located along the microtubule network. These results suggest that the Ro52 cytoplasmic bodies are unidentified structures that are transported along the microtubule network.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytoplasmic Vesicles / chemistry
  • Cytoplasmic Vesicles / metabolism*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Microtubules / chemistry
  • Microtubules / metabolism*
  • Movement*
  • Nuclear Proteins / chemistry
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Ribonucleoproteins


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Ribonucleoproteins
  • SS-A antigen