Two proteins (ribophorins I and II), which are integral components of rough microsomal membranes and appear to be related to the bound ribosomes, were shown to be exposed on the surface of rat liver rough microsomes (RM) and to be in close proximity to the bound ribosomes. Both proteins were labeled when intact RM were incubated with a lactoperoxidase iodinating system, but only ribophorin I was digested during mild trypsinization of intact RM. Ribophorin II (63,000 daltons) was only proteolyzed when the luminal face of the microsomal vesicles was made accessible to trypsin by the addition of sublytical detergent concentrations. Only 30--40% of the bound ribosomes were released during trypsinization on intact RM, but ribosome release was almost complete in the presence of low detergent concentrations. Very low glutaraldehyde concentrations (0.005--0.02%) led to the preferential cross-linking of large ribosomal subunits of bound ribosomes to the microsomal membranes. This cross-linking prevented the release of subunits caused by puromycin in media of high ionic strength, but not the incorporation of [3H]puromycin into nascent polypeptide chains. SDS-acrylamide gel electrophoresis of cross-linked samples a preferential reduction in the intensity of the bands representing the ribophorins and the formation of aggregates which did not penetrate into the gels. At low methyl-4-mercaptobutyrimidate (MMB) concentrations (0.26 mg/ml) only 30% of the ribosomes were cross-linked to the microsomal membranes, as shown by the puromycin-KCl test, but membranes could still be solubilized with 1% DOC. This allowed the isolation of the ribophorins together with the sedimentable ribosomes, as was shown by electrophoresis of the sediments after disruption of the cross-links by reduction. Experiments with RM which contained only inactive ribosomes showed that the presence of nascent chains was not necessary for the reversible cross-linking of ribosomes to the membranes. These observations suggest that ribophorins are in close proximity to the bound ribosomes, as may be expected from components of the ribosome-binding sites.

This content is only available as a PDF.