The regulation of protein synthesis in the pigeon has been studied by comparing the capability of cell-free amino acid incorporating systems of membrane-bound and membrane-free polysomes prepared from fasted and fed birds. New methods were developed for isolating polysomes since techniques used for other tissues did not provide quantitative recovery of polysomal RNA. The sucrose gradient profile of polysomes from pigeon pancreas showed a predominance of trisome species. Although initiation factors are present on polysomes, it was found that polysomes in cell-free systems would not initiate protein synthesis without exogenous initiation factors. This suggested the presence of an inhibitor or regulator of protein synthesis. These studies show that fasting resulted in: (a) decreased amounts of polysomes; (b) disaggregation of polysomes to monosomes; (c) decreased capability of polysomes to synthesize nascent peptides and to initiate additional synthesis, apparently not related to concentration of initiation factors.

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