Polysome and ribosome preparations from normal rat liver and from a series of transplantable rat hepatomas of different growth rates were compared. All the hepatomas had a significantly higher percentage of RNA in a polysome preparation than did the normal liver, and the polysome preparations from the tumors, with the exception of the Dunning hepatoma which has a high lipid content, gave a greater yield of RNA and protein per gram of wet tissue than the liver did. Heavier polysomes were considerably less prevalent in the tumors than in the liver, and the tumors contained a larger proportion of monomer and dimer ribosomes than the liver did. Evidence is presented that the increased monomer and dimer ribosome population of the hepatomas studied is not an artifact of preparation, but represents the true intracellular distribution. Ribosomes from normal liver and Morris 5123-D hepatoma were readily dissociated by 20 min' treatment with 1.0 mM EDTA, but ribosomes from the Dunning, Novikoff ascites, and McCoy MDAB hepatomas were little affected by such treatment. With higher concentrations of EDTA, the ribosomes from the Novikoff ascites and McCoy MDAB hepatomas broke down and did not form specific subunits as did ribosomes from liver and the Morris 5123-D hepatoma but rather gave rise to a variety of small degradation products. This behavior is ascribed to a higher RNase content of the Novikoff and McCoy MDAB hepatomas. Dunning hepatoma ribosomes were resistant to 4 mM EDTA.

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