We previously demonstrated that phospho-Thr56 Bcl-2 colocalizes with Ki-67 and nucleolin in nuclear structures in prophase cells and is detected on mitotic chromosomes in later mitotic phases. To gain insight into the fine localization of Bcl-2 on mitotic chromosomes, we further investigated Bcl-2 localization by immunostaining of Bcl-2 with known components of metaphase chromosomes and electron microscopic immunocytochemistry. Immunofluorescence analysis on HeLa mitotic cells together with chromatin immunoprecipitation assays showed that Bcl-2 is associated with the condensed chromatin. Co-immunostaining experiments performed on mitotic chromosome spreads demonstrated that Bcl-2 is not localized on the longitudinal axis of chromatids with the condensin complex, but partially colocalizes with histone H3 on some regions of the mitotic chromosome. Finally, most of the Bcl-2 staining overlaps with Ki-67 staining at the chromosome periphery. Bcl-2 localization at the periphery and over the mitotic chromosome was confirmed by immunoelectron microscopy on mitotic cells.
Our results indicate that Bcl-2 is an integral component of the mitotic chromosome.