Initiation of protein synthesis in a cell-free system prepared from rat hepatocytes

S. R. Kimball, W. V. Everson, K. E. Flaim, L. S. Jefferson

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31 Scopus citations


A cell-free system, which maintained a linear rate of protein synthesis for up to 20 min of incubation, was prepared from isolated rat hepatocytes. The rate of protein synthesis in the cell-free system was ~20% of the rate obtained in isolated hepatocytes or perfused liver. More than 70% of total protein synthesis in the cell-free system was due to reinitiation, as indicated by addition of inhibitors of initiation, i.e., edeine or polyvinyl sulfate. The rate of protein synthesis and formation of 43S initiation complexes in the cell-free system were reduced to 60 and 30% of the control values, respectively, after incubation of hepatocytes in medium deprived of an essential amino acid. Therefore, the cell-free system maintained the defect in initiation induced in the intact cells by amino acid deprivation. The defect in initiation was corrected by addition of either rat liver eukaryotic initiation factor 2 or the guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) to the cell-free system. A role for GEF in the defect in initiation was further implicated by experiments that showed that the activity of the factor was decreased in extracts from livers perfused with medium deficient in amino acids. The cell-free system should provide a valuable tool for investigation of mechanisms involved in the regulation of initiation of protein synthesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25/1
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1989

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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