A protein component of 62-kDa (p62) in the mitotic apparatus of the sea urchin embryo has been shown to be important for the proper progression of mitosis [Dinsmore and Sloboda, 1989: Cell 57:127-134]. To study the subcellular distribution of p62 during the cell cycle of sea urchin embryos, indirect immunofluorescence microscopy was used coupled to a modified detergent extraction procedure. The improved fluorescent images obtained by this procedure provide new information concerning the subcellular localization of p62 during the cell cycle that could not be obtained with previous conventional staining procedures [Johnston and Sloboda, 1992: J. Cell Biol. 119:843-854]. Using affinity purified antibodies to p62, we observed a cell cycle-dependent localization of p62 to the chromosomes/chromatin. Prior to nuclear envelope breakdown of the first or second cell cycle, p62 localizes to chromatin in the nucleus. During mitosis, p62 associates with the region of the spindle occupied by the microtubules of the mitotic apparatus. As anaphase proceeds, but before the nuclear envelope reforms, p62 becomes progressively associated with the chromosomes. Thus, p62 is incorporated into the forming interphase nucleus due to its association with chromosomes during late anaphase, rather than by active translocation into the newly formed daughter nuclei through the nuclear pores. The protein is not unique to marine embryos, as demonstrated by immunofluorescence of Y-1 cells, a mouse adrenal tumor cell line. In these cells, the localization of p62 is similar to the localization of the protein in echinoderm embryos, suggesting its possible function in mitotic progression in mammalian somatic cells as well.