Highly purified mitochondrial ribosomes (mitoribosomes) have been obtained from the yeast Candida utilis. Sedimentation analysis in sucrose gradients made in 5 mM MgCl2, 1 mM Tris, pH 7.4 and 50 mM KCl clearly distinguishes mitoribosomes (72S) from cytoplasmic ribosomes (cytoribosomes) (78S). Mitoribosomes are completely dissociated into 50S and 36S subunits at 10-4 M MgCl2 whereas complete dissociation of cytoribosomes into 61S and 37S subunits occurs only at 10-6 M MgCl2 Electron microscopy of negatively stained mitoribosomes (72S peak) shows bipartite profiles, about 265 x 210 x 200 A Characteristic views are interpreted as frontal, dorsal, and lateral projections of the particles, the latter is observed in two enantiomorphic forms Mitoribosome 50S subunits display rounded profiles bearing a conspicuous knoblike projection, reminiscent of the large bacterial subunit. The 36S subunits show a variety of angular profiles. Mitoribosomal subunits are subject to artifactual dimerization at high Mg2+ concentration Under these conditions, a supplementary 80S peak arises. Electron microscopic observation of the 80S peak reveals closely paired particles of the 50S type Buoyant density determinations after glutaraldehyde fixation show a single peak at ρ = 1.48 for mitoribosomes and 1.53 for cytoribosomes In the presence of ethylenediaminetetraacetate (EDTA), two species of RNA, 21S and 16S, are obtained from mitoribosomes, while 25S and 17S RNA are obtained from cytoribosomes It is established that the small and large RNA species are derived from the 36S and 50S subunits, respectively, by extraction of the RNA from each subunit The G + C content of the RNA is lower for mitoribosomes (33%) than for cytoribosomes (50%). Incubation of C utilis mitochondria with leucine-14C results in the labeling of 72S mitoribosomes. The leucine-14C incorporation is inhibited by chloramphenicol and resistant to cycloheximide Puromycin strips the incorporated radioactivity from the 72S mitoribosomes, which is consistent with the view that leucine-14C is incorporated into nascent polypeptide chains at the level of mitoribosomes

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