The water-soluble probe carboxyfluorescein (CF), contained in the internal aqueous phase of liposomes, was used to investigate the interaction of phospholipid vesicles with isolated nuclei. Ultrastructural analysis indicated that adherent liposomes coated the nuclear surface, and fluorescence microscopy showed that they contained quenching concentrations of the dye. Flow cytometry revealed that the transfer of the entrapped dye from the adhering liposomes to nuclei was blocked by chilling at 0 degrees C. Chase experiments demonstrated that the most reliable mechanism of dye transfer involved fusion phenomena between the liposomal and the nuclear membranes. After the release of the fluorophore into the nucleus, empty liposomes could withdraw the intranuclear soluble fraction of the dye.
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