European Journal of Biochemistry vol:57 issue:2 pages:481-91
We have developed a method for the large-scale isolation of active ribosomal subunits from human placenta. The technique involves incubating crude ribosomes for 15 min at 37 degrees C with 0.2 mM puromycin in 50 mM Tris-HCl buffer, pH 7.6, 500 mM KCl and 3 mM MgCl2 followed by centrifugation at 5 degrees C in a BXV zonal rotor using an equivolumetric sucrose gradient in the same buffer, upon which 80--90% of all ribosomes are dissociated into subunits. The purified subunits differ in their chemical composition, the 60-S particle containing no more than 36% protein whereas the 40-S subunit consists of 43% protein. In poly(U)-directed protein synthesis, tested in a completely homologous cell-free system, one recombined couple polymerizes at 37 degrees C 12 to 17 phenylalanine residues at an initial rate of 0.7 residues per minute. However, free 80-S ribosomes obtained by puromycin treatment of the crude ribosomes and reassociation of the subunits without prior isolation, have an even higher incorporating activity (20--25 mol phenylalanine/mol of ribosome). At least 55% of the subunits were estimated to actively participate in the polyphenylalanine synthesis.