The time-course of changes in the pattern of newly synthesized proteins in the R15 neuron of the parietovisceral ganglion of Aplysia californica has been studied at 14 degrees C. 5% polyacrylamide gels containing sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) have been used to separate newly synthesized (leucine-labeled) proteins from the neuron. We have demonstrated that the pattern of newly synthesized proteins from the R15 neuron does not change significantly if 5-h pulses of labeled leucine are given during the first 72 h of in vitro incubation of the excised ganglion. However, the level of leucine incorporation begins to decline somewhere between 17 and 43 h after the ganglion is isolated; at 43 and 69 h the levels of incorporation fell to 29 and 10% of the initial level, respectively. A number of conclusions have been drawn from the use of a sequential, double-label type of experiment in the same cell. There is processing of SDS-soluble, 12,000-dalton (12k) material to 6,000-9,000-dalton (6-9k) material. These materials are the two major peaks on gels after long labeling periods and together account for about 35% of all newly synthesized proteins. After synthesis of 12k material, there is a gradual disappearance of 12k (half-life about 8 h) and simultaneous appearance of 6-9k material on the gels, as the postsynthesis "chase" period of ganglia incubation is increased. The processing of 12k to 6-9k material occurs even in the presence of anisomycin, a protein syntehsis inhibitor, during the chase period. While the rate of 12k to 6-9k conversion can vary from cell to cell, it appears to remain consistent within, and is characteristic of, any individual R15. We detect no circadian rhythm in either the rate of 12k synthesis or the rate of 12k to 6-9k processing with 5-h label periods. These results are discussed in relation to the roles of 12k and 6-9k material in the R15 neuron.

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