Localization of ribonucleotide reductase in mammalian cells

EMBO J. 1984 Apr;3(4):863-7.


The results of immunocytochemical studies using two different monoclonal antibodies against the M1 subunit of ribonucleotide reductase show an exclusively cytoplasmic localization of this subunit both in cultured MDBK and mouse 3T6 cells, and in cells from various rat tissues. By fluorescent light microscopy, there is a diffuse staining of the cytoplasm, while by electron microscopy the immunoreactive material appears to be associated with ribosomes. In the rat tissues, only actively dividing cells show M1-specific immunofluorescence revealing a strong correlation between the presence of protein M1 and DNA synthesis. Therefore M1 immunofluorescence could be used to study cell proliferation in normal, inflammatory or neoplastic tissue. A lesser variation in M1 staining is observed between individual cells in tissue culture, where most cells are positive, but neither here nor in the tissues examined are any cells with nuclear staining detected. We interpret our results to mean that in mammalian cells ribonucleotide reduction takes place in the cytoplasm and from there the deoxyribonucleotides are transported into the nucleus to serve in DNA synthesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Cell Cycle
  • Cell Line
  • Cytoplasm / enzymology*
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Ribonucleotide Reductases / analysis*
  • Testis / enzymology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Ribonucleotide Reductases