Immunofluorescent images of formaldehyde-fixed cell lines are shown. Three different organelle markers are displayed as different channels in the multicolor images - nucleus stained in blue, microtubules in red and ER in yellow. The various cell structures that are demonstrated are always shown in the green channel using an antibody found in the Human Protein Atlas. The antibody id is linked to the corresponding Cell Atlas protein page. By using the "toggle channels"-buttons, the different channels can be turned on and off. Most cell structures can be highlighted in the cell illustration by hovering over them with the exception of the aggresome. Cytoplasmic bodies are highlighted as cytosol; cytokinetic bridge, midbody, midbody ring and mitotic spindle are highlighted as microtubules, cell junctions are highlighted as plasma membrane and nucleus is highlighted as nucleoplasm.
Staining of intermediate filaments in human cell line MCF-7 (HPA002465)
Scale bar represents 10µm
Intermediate filaments are a part of the cellular cytoskeleton. They have a coiled structure that provides mechanical support to the cell as they stretch from the nucleus throughout the cytoplasm. Cells that are subject to mechanical stress, such as hair and skin cells, contain a higher amount of intermediate filaments compared to other cell types. Additionally intermediate filaments participate in the organization of chromatin in the nucleus. The latter is achieved by anchoring the chromatin to the nuclear lamina that lines the inner part of the nuclear membrane.
Immunofluorescent staining of intermediate filaments can vary a lot between cell types. The filaments are usually at least partly located close to the nucleus, but may stretch throughout the whole cell. Common for most stainings is that the filaments exhibit a tangled structure with strands crossing every so often. Sometimes the staining can be mistaken for microtubules at first, but there is little or no overlap when comparing with the microtubule marker (red channel).