The addition of the carcinogen, N-methyl N’-nitro N-nitrosoguanidine, to a cell-free system consisting of purified polysome and ‘pH 5 enzyme’ fraction resulted in a marked inhibition of incorporation of (14C)-leucine into polypeptides. The extent of inhibition was remarkably high if the cell-free system contained limiting amount of ‘pH 5 enzyme’ fraction. Under this condition, the rate of inhibition was dependent on the concentration of carcinogen. Some component present in the ‘pH 5 enzyme’ fraction was inferred to be the susceptible factor, since the inhibition at low concentration of carcinogen could be reversed by increasing the amount of this fraction in the polysomal system. It was ascertained that tRNA was the primary target of carcinogenic action. Evidence suggested that functions attributed to tRNA such as aminoacylation and ribosomal transfer were both affected in a characteristic way by the action of the carcinogenic N-nitroso compound.
Volume 45, 2020
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