Hydroxystilbamidine isethionate, a dye capable of binding to both DNA and RNA, has been found to be a powerful inhibitor of cellular ribonucleases. A procedure has been developed that, with the aid of this compound, permits the preparative isolation of giant silk fibroin polyribosomes from the posterior silk gland of Bombyx mori. The polyribosomes contain approximately 45-112 ribosomal particles, as judged by electron microscopy. Treatment of giant fibroin polyribosomes with EDTA releases a particle that sediments at 125S. This mRNP particle contains biologically active silk fibroin mRNA, as judged by cell-free translation in an mRNA-dependent reticulocyte cell-free system.
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