The volutin granule was isolated from yeast by disruption of freeze-dried cells in an organic solvent and density-gradient-gradient centrifugation. The granule is composed of two types of macromolecule, a linear-chain polyphosphate and four basic proteins, of molecular weights ranging from 10 000 to 20 000. In the dissolved granule these macromolecules are in a complex that is uniform by hydrodynamic criteria (s20,w = 22.3 S). The polyphosphate separated from this complex gives a single 31P n.m.r. resonance and in the analytical ultracentrifuge behaves as a monodisperse solute of molecular weight 245 000 +/- 1000. In the 31P n.m.r. spectrum of yeast used for its isolation, this polyphosphate accounts for 14% of total cell polyphosphate.

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