Signal recognition particle (SRP) is a ribonucleoprotein that functions in the targeting of ribosomes synthesizing presecretory proteins to the ER. SRP binds to the signal sequence as it emerges from the ribosome, and in wheat germ extracts, arrests further elongation. The translation arrest is released when SRP interacts with its receptor on the ER membrane. We show that the delay of elongation mediated by SRP is not unique to wheat germ translation extracts. Addition of mammalian SRP to reticulocyte lysates resulted in a delay of preprolactin synthesis due to increased ribosome pausing at specific sites on preprolactin mRNA. Addition of canine pancreatic microsomal membranes to reticulocyte lysates resulted in an acceleration of preprolactin synthesis, suggesting that the endogenous SRP present in the reticulocyte lysate also delays synthesis of secretory proteins.

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