Cell Fractionation Techniques

  • Henri Beaufay
  • Alain Amar-Costesec


Since the development of the first quantitative technique for fractionating liver tissue by Albert Claude (1946a,b), successive improvements have been introduced by several workers that have led to reproducible methods for disaggregating the tissue into a suspension of subcellular components,* called tissue homogenate, and for resolving this homogenate by differential centrifugation into four fractions containing mainly but not exclusively (1) nuclei and large cell debris; (2) mitochondria and other large granules; (3) small granules, designated microsomes (Claude, 1943), which were found later to derive largely from the endoplasmic reticulum of the intact cell (Palade and Siekevitz, 1956); and (4) soluble constituents of the tissue. The door was thus open wide to a new domain in cytology: the intracellular topography of biochemical functions, i.e., the study of the chemical composition, metabolic functions, and other properties of subcellular organelles.


Differential Centrifugation Sedimentation Coefficient Subcellular Organelle Urate Oxidase Subcellular Component 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henri Beaufay
    • 1
  • Alain Amar-Costesec
    • 1
  1. 1.International Institute of Cellular and Molecular Pathology and Laboratoire de Chimie PhysiologiqueUniversité Catholique de LouvainBrusselsBelgium

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