We have purified and partially sequenced the EF-1 alpha protein from Xenopus laevis oocytes (EF-1 alpha O). We show that the two cDNA clones isolated by Coppared et al. (Coppard, N. J., K. Poulsen, H. O. Madsen, J. Frydenberg, and B. F. C. Clark. 1991. J. Cell Biol. 112:237-243) do not encode 42Sp50, as claimed by these authors, but two very similar forms of EF-1 alpha O (EF-1 alpha O and EF-1 alpha O1). 42Sp50 is the major protein component of a 42S nucleoprotein particle that is very abundant in previtellogenic oocytes of X. laevis, 42Sp50 differs from EF-1 alpha O not only by its amino acid sequence, but also by several properties already reported. In particular, 42Sp50 has a low EF-1 alpha activity. It is distributed uniformly in the cytoplasm of previtellogenic oocytes, in contrast to EF-1 alpha O which is concentrated in a small region of the cytoplasm, known as the mitochondrial mass or Balbiani body.

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