The function of the nucleolus is intimately connected to cell proliferation, division and growth. Many cancer cells have enlarged nucleoli, and several nucleolar proteins have been linked to tumorigenesis. In order to find proteins whose expression is altered in the nucleoli of leukemic cells, we carried out two-dimensional difference gel electrophoresis (2-D DIGE) analyses. Prohibitin (PHB) and TAR-DNA-binding protein-43 (TDP-43) were strongly expressed in the nucleoli of the pre-B-ALL cell line MHH-CALL3. Our results demonstrate that leukemic cells have differences in their nucleolar protein composition, and suggest that it may be possible to exploit these differences in identification of leukemia subtypes.
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