Addition of spermidine to a cell-free protein synthesizing system from wheat germ programmed with total brome mosaic virus (BMV) RNA resulted in a several-fold stimulation of amino acid incorporation. Increasing the spermidine concentration in the system led to inhibition of the overall protein synthesis, but the production of longer polypeptides was inhibited much more than that of the coat protein (shorter product). Analysis of the products synthesized under direction of BMV RNA 3 (longer product) and RNA 4 (coat protein) revealed that optimal translation of RNA 3 occurred at a much lower concentration of spermidine than that of RNA 4. Binding experiments with radioactive spermidine and BMV RNAs showed that the saturation of spermidine binding is achieved at a lower concentration of spermidine for RNA 3 than for RNA 4, which may suggest that the structure of RNA 4 is more compact than that of RNA 3. Taking into account the binding obtained at a spermidine concentration corresponding to optimal conditions of protein synthesis, it may be concluded that the optimum translation of these two mRNAs occurs when there is a similar level of RNA charge neutralisation, which implies a similar level of RNA structure stabilisation.
translation brome mosaic virus spermidine
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