Addition of rifampicin to growing cells of Escherichia coli affected the ribosomes. The polyribosomes first decayed to 70S ribosomes. These later dissociated to particles distinct from ribosomal subunits. The altered ribosomes sedimented more slowly than the corresponding subunits and had lost some protein; their ribosomal RNA was intact, but they were more susceptible to degradation by ribonuclease than normal ribosomes. The addition of rifampicin to preparations of lysed cells caused no detectable changes in the ribosome fraction.

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