The nuage is a unique organelle in animal germ cells that is known as an electron-dense amorphous structure in the perinuclear region. Although the nuage is essential for primordial germ cell (PGC) determination and development, its roles and functions are poorly understood. Herein, we report an analysis of the diffusion properties of the olvas gene product of the medaka fish (Oryzias lapites) in PGCs prepared from embryos, using fluorescence correlation spectroscopy and fluorescence recovery after photobleaching. Olvas-green fluorescent protein (GFP) localized in granules thought to be nuages, and exhibited a constraint movement with two-component diffusion constants of 0.15 and 0.01 microm(2).s(-1). On the other hand, cytosolic Olvas-GFP was also observed to have a diffusion movement of 7.0 microm(2).s(-1). Interestingly, Olvas-GFP could be expressed in HeLa cells, and formed granules that were similar to nuages in medaka PGCs. Olvas-GFP also exhibited a constraint movement in the granules and diffused in the cytosol of HeLa cells, just as in the medaka embryo. The other two gene products, Nanos and Tudor of the medaka, which are known as constituents of the nuage, could also be expressed in HeLa cells and formed granules that colocalized with Olvas-GFP. Nanos-GFP and Tudor-GFP exhibited constraint movement in the granules and diffused in the cytosol of HeLa cells. These results suggest that these granules in the HeLa cell are not simple aggregations or rigid complexes, but dynamic structures consisting of several proteins that shuttle back and forth between the cytosol and the granules.