Microsomes, isolated from rat liver homogenate in 0.88 M sucrose, have been fractionated by differential centrifugation. The 2nd microsomal fraction, sedimented between 60 minutes at 105,000 g and 3 hours at 145,000 g, consists mainly of smooth vesicles, free ribosomes, and ferritin. By utilizing the differences in density existing between the membranes and the granular elements it has been possible to separate the smooth membranes from the free ribosomes and ferritin. The procedure is to resuspend the 2nd microsomal fraction in a sucrose solution of 1.21 or 1.25 density and centrifuge it at 145,000 g for 20 or 40 hours. A centripetal migration of membranes and a centrifugal sedimentation of granular elements are obtained. Phospholipids, as well as the enzymatic activities DPNH-cytochrome c reductase, glucose-6-phosphatase and esterase are localized in the membranes. The free ribosomes have been purified by washing. A concentration of 200 µg RNA per mg nitrogen has been reached. RNA is also present in the membranes. These results are discussed in relation to current views on microsomal structure and chemistry.
Microsomes isolated by differential centrifugation from a rat liver homogenate in 0.88 M sucrose solution have been studied from the biochemical and morphological point of view. 1. Under these experimental conditions, the "total microsome" fraction was obtained by centrifuging the cytoplasmic extract free of nuclei and mitochondria, for 3 hours at 145,000 g. Morphologically, the total microsomes consist mainly of "rough-surfaced membranes" and "smooth" ones. 2. The total microsomes have been divided into 2 subfractions so that the 1st microsomal fraction contains the "rough" vesicles (2 hours centrifugation at 40,000 g) while the 2nd microsomal fraction consists essentially of smooth vesicles, free particles, and ferritin (centrifugation of the supernatant at 145,000 g for 3 hours). 3. By the action of 0.4 per cent sodium deoxycholate in 0.88 M sucrose, it was possible to obtain a pellet for each of the 2 fractions which consisted of dense particles, rich in RNA, poor in lipids, and which represented about 50 to 60 percent of the RNA and 10 to 15 per cent of the proteins. The results have been discussed taking into consideration the hypothesis of the presence of RNA in the membranes of microsomal vesicles.