A membrane protein fraction showing affinity for ribosomes was isolated from rat liver microsomes (microsomal fractions) in association with ribosomes by treatment of the microsomes with Emulgen 913 and then solubilized from the ribosomes with sodium deoxycholate. This protein fraction was separated into two fractions, glycoproteins, including ribophorins I and II, and non-glycoproteins, virtually free from ribophorins I and II, on concanavalin A-Sepharose columns. The two fractions were each reconstituted into liposomes to determine their ribosome-binding activities. The specific binding activity of the non-glycoprotein fraction was approx. 2.3-fold higher than that of the glycoprotein fraction. The recovery of ribosome-binding capacity of the two fractions was about 85% of the total binding capacity of the material applied to a concanavalin A-Sepharose column, and about 90% of it was found in the non-glycoprotein fraction. The affinity constants of the ribosomes for the reconstituted liposomes were somewhat higher than those for stripped rough microsomes. The mode of ribosome binding to the reconstituted liposomes was very similar to that to the stripped rough microsomes, in its sensitivity to proteolytic enzymes and its strong inhibition by increasing KCl concentration. These results support the idea that ribosome binding to rat liver microsomes is not directly mediated by ribophorins I and II, but that another unidentified membrane protein(s) plays a role in ribosome binding.

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