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coiled body, Gemini of coiled bodies, Gems
A class of nuclear body, first seen after silver staining by Ramon y Cajal in 1903, enriched in small nuclear ribonucleoproteins, and certain general RNA polymerase II transcription factors; ultrastructurally, they appear as a tangle of coiled, electron-dense threads roughly 0.5 micrometers in diameter; involved in aspects of snRNP biogenesis; the protein coilin serves as a marker for Cajal bodies. Some argue that Cajal bodies are the sites for preassembly of transcriptosomes, unitary particles involved in transcription and processing of RNA.