The antibiotic granaticin interferes in Bacillus subtilis with the charging process of tRNALeu causing both the arrest of protein synthesis and bacteriostasis [A. Ogilvie, K. Wiebauer & W. Kersten (1975) Biochem. J. 152, 511-515]. A concomitant inhibition of RNA synthesis is observed. This inhibition was studied with mutant strains of B. subtilis. 2. Granaticin inhibits protein and RNA synthesis in stringently controlled B. subtilis (rel+) to about the same extent. In a relaxed mutant strain (rel-) of B. subtilis, protein synthesis is also inhibited, but the accumulation of RNA continues after the addition of the drug. 3. Chloramphenicol, which is known to abolish the stringent control mechanism, added simultaneously with granaticin, allows the synthesis of RNA to proceed in the stringent strain. 4. Guanosine tetraphosphate (ppGpp) and guanosine pentaphosphate (pppGpp) accumulate in granaticin-treated stringently controlled B. subtilis but not in the rel- mutant. 5. It is concluded that the inhibition of RNA synthesis granaticin can adequately be explained as a stringent response caused by the interference by the drug with leucyl-tRNA synthetase.

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