1. Isolation of free and membrane-bound ribosomes from embryonic chick sternal-cartilage cells labelled for 4min with [14C]proline and their subsequent analysis for hydroxy[14C]proline indicated that cartilage procollagen biosynthesis occurs on bound ribosomes. 2. Nascent procollagen polypeptides on bound ribosomes isolated from cells labelled with [14C]lysine were found to contain hydroxy[14C]lysine indicating that hydroxylation of lysine commences while the growing chains are still attached to the ribosomes. 3. Analysis of bound ribosomes labelled with either [14C]proline or [14C]lysine on sucrose density gradients indicated that cartilage procollagen is synthesized on large polyribosomes in the range 250-400S. 4. Microsomal preparations isolated from cells pulse-labelled for 4 min with [14C]proline were used to determine the direction of release of nascent procollagen polypeptides. Puromycin induced the vectorial release of nascent procollagen polypeptides into the microsomal vesicles suggesting that the first step in the secretion of procollagen polypeptides is their transfer from the ribosomes through the membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum into the cisternal space. 5. The procollagen polypeptides secreted by cartilage cells were shown to be linked by inter-chain disulphide bonds. 6. Examination of the state of aggregation of pro-α chains in subcellular fractions isolated from cartilage cells labelled with [14C]proline for various periods of time have provided data on the timing and location of inter-chain disulphide-bond formation. This process commences in the rough endoplasmic reticulum after the release of completed pro-α chains from membrane-bound ribosomes. Pro-α chains isolated from fractions of smooth endoplasmic reticulum were virtually all present as disulphide-bonded aggregates, suggesting that either disulphide bonding is completed in this cellular compartment, or that procollagen needs to be in a disulphide-bonded form to be transferred to this region of the endoplasmic reticulum. 7. Comparison of these results with previously published data on disulphide bonding in tendon cells suggest that the rate of inter-chain disulphide-bond formation is significantly slower in cartilage cells.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.