A combined mitochondrial and light mitochondrial fraction and a microsomal fraction were isolated from bovine thyroid gland and fractionated further in a B-XIV zonal rotor. A density gradient ranging from 20 to 50% (w/w) sucrose was used. The rotor was operated for 3 h at 45 000 rev./min. All manipulations were performed at 4 degrees C and at pH 7.4. 2. Membranous material was recovered in two zones: zone I, containing microsomal material derived from both smooth endoplasmic reticulum and plasma membranes and probably also from other smooth membranes; zone II, containing material from rough endoplasmic reticulum. 3. Increasing the pH of the medium up to 8.6, or the addition of Mg2+ to the medium resulted in the formation of a single zone at intermediate densities (aggregation of membranes?). An analogous effect was obtained after treatment with Pb (NO3) 2. 4. In the presence of heparin (50 i.u./ml) the bulk of the membranes was found in zone I. This was due to the release of ribosomes from the rough endoplasmic reticulum.

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