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Hemoglobin Synthesis in the Maturing Rabbit Reticulocyte


Millette, Robert Loomis (1965) Hemoglobin Synthesis in the Maturing Rabbit Reticulocyte. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/G8SP-AN14.


A method is described for fractionating rabbit reticulocytes by buoyant density centrifugation in an albumin (BSA) gradient. The progressively lighter cells contained more ribosomes and were more active in protein synthesis than the denser cells. Cytological, physical, and biochemical properties of the fractions showed that the procedure separates the cells according to their degree of physiological maturity. Fractions were examined for their protein synthesizing activity and ribosomal distribution by sucrose gradient analysis. With increasing cell maturation the percent of ribonucleoprotein present as polysomes declined slightly, the pentamer persisted as the major ribosomal aggregate, and the specific activity of the polysomes decreased. The loss of hemoglobin synthesis during reticulocyte maturation is closely correlated with the loss of total ribosomal material and with an increasing percentage of inactive polysomes. A fraction of the most immature reticulocytes was labeled with H[superscript 3]-leucine and transfused into a normal rabbit for in vivo maturation. BSA-gradient analysis of blood samples taken at various time intervals confirmed that the position of the cells in a BSA gradient is a function of their age. A reticulocyte cell-free amino acid incorporating system is described which is capable, after an initial rapid incorporation, of a linear rate of protein synthesis for at least two hours. This system was used to further investigate the differences between reticulocyte fractions from a BSA gradient. Crossed incubations of ribosomes and supernatants showed that not only the ribosomes become less active but that supernatant factors limit amino acid incorporation in the more mature cells. The nature of the supernatant effect is discussed. Preliminary cell-free studies using polysomes and 80S ribosomes, isolated from a sucrose gradient, showed that 80S ribosomes are inactive by themselves. However, in the presence of polysomes they participate in amino acid incorporation. The results indicate that the rate of protein synthesis is a function of the concentrations of both "monosomes" and polysomes.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:(Biochemistry and Chemistry)
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Major Option:Biochemistry
Minor Option:Chemistry
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Borsook, Henry
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:1 September 1964
Additional Information:Title varies in the 1965 Caltech commencement program: Hemoglobin Synthesis in the Maturing Reticulocyte
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-05162003-090149
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:1830
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:16 May 2003
Last Modified:09 Feb 2024 17:59

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PDF (Millette_rl_1965.pdf) - Final Version
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