Isolated frog retinas were incubated in vitro with a 4-h pulse of [3H]leucine, then chased for 32 h with a nonradioactive amino acid mixture. At the end of the incubation, light and electron microscope autoradiograms were prepared from some of the retinas. The autoradiograms revealed: (a) intense radioactivity in the basal disks of the rod outer segments, (b) diffuse label evenly distributed throughout the rod outer segments, and (c) a high concentration of label in the entire rod outer segment plasma membrane. Incubation under identical conditions, but with puromycin added, significantly inhibited the labeling of all of these components. To identify the labeled proteins, purified outer segments from the remaining retinas were analyzed biochemically by SDS disc gel electrophoresis and gel filtration chromatography. SDS gel electrophoresis showed that about 90% of the total rod outer segment radioactivity chromatographed coincident with visual pigment, suggesting that the radiolabeled protein in the plasma membrane is visual pigment. Gel filtration chromatography demonstrated that the radiolabeled protein co-chromatographed with rhodopsin rather than opsin, and that the newly synthesized visual pigment is both the basal disks and the plasma membrane is present in the native configuration.

This content is only available as a PDF.