Ninein-like protein is a protein that in humans is encoded by the NINL gene. It is part of the centrosome. 0Nucleoli, the sites of rRNA synthesis, rRNA processing, and the assembly of ribosomes, are dynamic organelles that, in most cells, disperse and reform during mitosis. The mechanisms that regulate nucleolar formation are unknown as is the relationship between nucleolar morphology and the pathway of ribosome biogenesis. In this report we describe the in vitro formation of nucleolus-like particles (NLPs) from soluble extracts of nucleoli. NLPs, which reached sizes comparable to nucleoli (1-3 microns), were found to contain 40% of the nucleolar DNA, RNA, and protein. The ultrastructure of NLPs resembled that of a number of in vivo structures including compact nucleoli, prenucleolar bodies, and pseudonucleoli. The particles were composed of two morphologically distinct regions. The core resembled the dense fibrillar component (DFC) of nucleoli while the cortex resembled the granular component (GC) of nucleoli. The cortex of NLPs contained numerous 15-20 nm osmophilic granules that resembled the preribosomes found in the GC of nucleoli. The distribution of nucleolar proteins in NLPs also resembled that in nucleoli.