A major heat-shock protein defined by a monoclonal antibody.
A monoclonal antibody reacts with a polypeptide of 68 000 mol. wt. (p68) that accumulates to high levels during heat shock. The intracellular distribution of this antigen in normal and heat-shocked cells has been studied. It is a major component of non-stressed cells, where it is located predominantly in the cytoplasm, but also occurs in the nucleus. The nuclear accumulation is growth regulated, in that exponentially growing cells have strong nuclear immunofluorescence and confluent cells little. It is concentrated at the leading edge of motile fibroblasts and co-distributes with actin-containing microfilaments. Heat shock causes cytoplasmic and nuclear accumulation and there is new deposition in the periphery of cells. In normal cells the antigen in the nucleus is located in the nuclear lamina and matrix which increases during heat shock. The distribution of this molecule and the structures with which it interacts suggests that it is important in mediating the effects of heat shock.