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Journal Article

Distribution of RNA and protein in crystalline eukaryotic ribosomes

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Kühlbrandt, W., & Unwin, P. (1982). Distribution of RNA and protein in crystalline eukaryotic ribosomes. Journal of Molecular Biology (London), 156(3), 431-448. doi:10.1016/0022-2836(82)90259-5.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-EABE-C
Two low-resolution three-dimensional maps of the structure of crystalline ribosomes from the oocytes of the lizard, Lacerta sicula, have been obtained by electron microscopy and image processing. One map, derived from sheets contrasted with gold-thioglucose, shows the whole ribosome in outline. The other map, based on sheets embedded in glucose, shows predominantly the RNA in the ribosome.

The distribution of RNA-rich and protein-rich regions within the ribosome was assessed by comparing both maps. The RNA forms a dense central core, while the ribosomal protein is located mainly at the periphery and constitutes most of the ribosome surface. The RNA appears to be accessible at several sites on the surface. The two subunits of the ribosome are not resolved, indicating that they are in close contact with one another. The subunit interface cuts through a region of the ribosome that is particularly rich in RNA.