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DNA topoisomerase II has been immunochemically identified on protein blots as a major polypeptide component of the Drosophila nuclear matrix-pore complex-lamina fraction. Indirect immunofluorescence analyses of larval cryosections have confirmed the nuclear localization of topoisomerase II in situ. Although apparently excluded from the nucleolus, the topoisomerase protein is otherwise distributed throughout the interior of interphase nuclei. Similar immunocytochemical studies performed with permeabilized whole giant cells from third-instar larval salivary glands have shown topoisomerase II to be largely restricted to the polytene chromosomes. Upon nuclear disassembly during mitosis, the topoisomerase polypeptide appears to redistribute diffusely throughout the cell. Faint immunofluorescent staining of mitotic chromosomes is also observed.