The serine protease inhibitor N-alpha-tosyl-epsilon-phenylalanyl chloromethyl ketone (TPCK) has been long used in studies of cellular processes including apoptosis. Depending on the experimental conditions, TPCK either induces or inhibits changes associated with apoptosis but there has been little progress in identifying the relevant targets for TPCK. Our group recently showed that the largest subunit of the RNA polymerase II is one of the intracellular targets of TPCK. The complex effects of TPCK on apoptosis, however, suggested the existence of additional apoptosis-relevant targets in cells. Using our unique polyclonal anti-tosyl antibody, here we report the identification of the mitotic spindle as another intracellular target for TPCK. We also provide data that TPCK-mediated labeling of the mitotic spindle correlates with cell cycle arrest in prometaphase. (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.