The data presented in this paper demonstrate that native small ribosomal subunits from reticulocytes (containing initiation factors) and large ribosomal subunits derived from free polysomes of reticulocytes by the puromycin-KCl procedures can function with stripped microsomes derived from dog pancreas rough microsomes in a protein-synthesizing system in vitro in response to added IgG light chain mRNA so as to segregate the translation product in a proteolysis-resistant space. No such segregation took place for the translation product of globin mRNA. In addition to their ability to segregate the translation product of a specific heterologous mRNA, native dog pancreas rough microsomes as well as derived stripped microsomes were able to proteolytically process the larger, primary translation product in an apparently correct manner, as evidenced by the identical mol wt of the segregated translation product and the authentic secreted light chain. Segregation as well as proteolytic processing by native and stripped microsomes occurred only during ongoing translation but not after completion of translation. Attempts to solubilize the proteolytic processing activity, presumably localized in the microsomal membrane by detergent treatment, and to achieve proteolytic processing of the completed light chain precursor protein failed. Taken together, these results establish unequivocally that the information for segregation of a translation product is encoded in the mRNA itself, not in the protein-synthesizing apparatus; this provides strong evidence in support of the signal hypothesis.

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