Initiation and processing in vitro of the primary translation products of guinea-pig caseins.

R. K. Craig, P. A. Perera, A. Mellor, A. E. Smith

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1. Guinea-pig caseins synthesized in a mRNA-directed wheat-germ cell-free protein-synthesizing system represent the primary translation products, even though they appear to be of lower molecular weight when analysed by sodium dodecyl sulphate/polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis in parallel with caseins isolated from guinea-pig milk. 2. Identification of the N-terminal dipeptide of the primary translational product of caseins A, B and C and alpha-lactalbumin showed that all shared a common sequence, which was identified as either Met-Arg or Met-Lys. 3. Procedures utilizing methionyl-tRNAfMet or methionyl-tRNAMet in the presence or absence of microsomal membranes during translation provide a rapid method of distinguishing between N-terminal processing of peptides synthesized in vitro and other post-translational modifications (glycosylation, phosphorylation), which also result in a change in mobility of peptides when analysed by sodium dodecyl sulphate/polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis. 4. The results demonstrate that guinea-pig caseins, in common with most other secretory proteins, are synthesized with transient N-terminal 'signal'-peptide extensions, which are cleaved during synthesis in the presence of microsomal membranes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-267
Number of pages7
JournalThe Biochemical journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 15 1979


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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