1. The ribonucleoprotein of the microsome fraction which sediments at 40,000 R.P.M. as a pellet (and which is referred to as the pellet material) has been studied with reference to its role in protein synthesis in the pancreas.
2. In pellet material nucleic acid and protein form a definite complex as shown by its electrophoretic behavior and unchanging composition under various conditions.
3. Protein of pellet material is not especially rich in the diamino acids.
4. Evidence is brought forward indicating that the protein component of pellet material takes part in the general process of protein synthesis in the cell.
(a) The well known correlation between quantity of RNA and rate of protein synthesis in a tissue implicates the protein of the pellet material, for most of the RNA in the pancreas and other tissues is in this material.
(b) Uptake of isotopically labelled glycine by the pellet material, confirming results of previous workers, is for short periods greater than in other protein fractions.
(c) Comparing the pellet materials of pancreas, liver, and kidney—three tissues with vastly different rates of protein synthesis, in the sequence given—there is a correlation between the quantity of RNA in the pellet and the rate of protein synthesis in the tissue; a similar correlation between quantity of RNA in the pellet material and rate of N15-glycine uptake by the protein component of the pellet; and finally, the level of uptake by total protein varies with the tissue and is related to the uptake of N15-glycine by protein of the pellet.
5. In the pancreas a distinction can be made between proteins synthesized for secretion and the nucleoprotein of the pellet (not found in the secretion) which, however, takes part in the synthetic process, as shown by the fact that the N15 uptake by protein of the pellet is increased when the synthesis of digestive enzymes is stimulated by secretion.
6. The time course of N15 uptake by proteins of the pancreas indicates that pellet protein serves as precursor material in the synthesis of the secretory proteins.
7. Rate of uptake of N15-glycine by the purines of RNA of the pellet material is not correlated with uptake by the protein.
8. The uptake of C14-alanine by an in vitro system of microsomes + mitochondria is impaired by preincubation of the microsomes with ribonuclease. This is direct experimental evidence for the dependence of protein synthesis upon the presence or intactness of ribonucleic acid in the microsomes.