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Subramanian, AR and van Duin, J (1977) Exchange of individual ribosomal proteins between ribosomes as studied by heavy isotope-transfer experiments. Mol. Gen. Genet. 158:1-9


Whether the individual ribosomal proteins undergo exchange between robosomes in vivo during cell growth was examined using heavy isotope transfer methodology. E. coli was grown first in a heavy isotope medium in the presence of [3H] leucine and then transferred to normal medium and allowed to grow for one generation in the presence of [14C] leucine. The "heavy" and "light" ribosomes that were present in such cells were separated by sedimentation and the ribosomal proteins resolved by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. The individual proteins were burnt in O2 and their contents of [3H] and [14C] labels determined. From the analysis of the data we find that the great majority of the ribosomal proteins of E. coli does not undergo exchange during cell growth. Proteins which were found to exchange to varying levels in different transfer experiments were S1, S2, L7/L12, L9, L10 and L33. All of them except L9 exchanged to the same levels in control experiments in which separately grown heavy and light cells were mixed and processed. These proteins therefore undergo exchange during cell breakage and ribosome isolation. Protein L9 consistently showed appreciably greater exchange in transfer experiments as compared to the controls suggesting that it may exchange in vivo.




Bacterial Proteins/metabolism; Escherichia coli/metabolism; Radioisotopes; Ribosomal Proteins/metabolism; Ribosomes/metabolism