A precursor (pS) to the small subunit (S) of ribulose1-,5-bisphosphate carboxylase is the major product of cell-free protein synthesis directed by poly(A) containing RNA from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. We present sequence data for in vitro-synthesized pS, for in vitro-synthesized S that in generated from pS by posttranslational incubation with a Chlamydomonas cell extract, and for in vitro-synthesized, mature S. We show that pS contains an NH2-terminal extension of 44 amino acid residues that is removed by cleavage at the correct site when pS is converted to S by an endoprotease present in the Chlamydomonas cell extract.

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