1. The rate of synthesis of membrane phospholipid was studied in rat liver and seminal vesicles by following the incorporation of [32P]orthophosphate, [14C]choline and [14C]glycerol. Particular emphasis was laid on the endoplasmic reticulum, which was fractionated into smooth microsomal membranes, heavy rough membranes, light rough membranes and free polyribosomes. 2. Phospholipid labelling patterns suggested a heterogeneity in the synthesis and turnover of the different lipid moieties of smooth and rough endoplasmic membranes. The major phospholipids, phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine, were labelled relatively rapidly with 32P over a short period of time whereas incorporation of radioisotope into the minor phospholipids, sphingomyelin, lysolecithin and phosphatidylinositol proceeded slowly but over a longer period of time. 3. The incorporation of orotic acid into RNA and labelled amino acids into protein of the four submicrosomal fractions was also studied. 4. Rapid growth of the liver was induced by the administration of growth hormone and tri-iodothyronine to hypophysectomized and thyroidectomized rats and by partial hepatectomy. Growth of seminal vesicles of castrated rats was stimulated with testosterone propionate. 5. The rate of labelling of membrane phospholipids was enhanced in all major subcellular particulate fractions (nuclear, mitochondrial and microsomal) during induced growth. However, it was in the rough endoplasmic reticulum that the accumulation of phospholipids, RNA and protein was most marked. The effect of hormone administration was also to accelerate preferentially the labelling with 32P of sphingomyelin relative to that of phosphatidylcholine or phosphatidylethanolamine. 6. Time-course analyses showed that, in all four growth systems studied, the enhancement of the rate of membrane phospholipid synthesis coincided with the rather abrupt increase in the synthesis of RNA and protein of the rough endoplasmic reticulum. Growth hormone and tri-iodothyronine administered to hypophysectomized rats had additive effects in all the biosynthetic processes. The latent period of action of each hormone was maintained so that two waves of proliferation of endoplasmic reticulum occurred if the hormones were administered simultaneously. 7. It is concluded that there is some mechanism in the cell that tightly co-ordinates the formation of membranes, especially those of the endoplasmic reticulum, when an increased demand is made for protein synthesis.

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