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EMBO J. 1987 Jan;6(1):75-82.

Human ribophorins I and II: the primary structure and membrane topology of two highly conserved rough endoplasmic reticulum-specific glycoproteins.


Ribophorins I and II represent proteins that are postulated to be involved in ribosome binding. They are abundant, highly-conserved glycoproteins located exclusively in the membranes of the rough endoplasmic reticulum. As the first step in the further characterization of the structure and function of these proteins, we have isolated and sequenced full-length human cDNA clones encoding ribophorins I and II using probes derived from a human liver expression library cloned into pEX1. The authenticity of the clones was verified by overlaps in the protein sequence of N-terminal and several internal fragments of canine pancreatic ribophorins I and II. The cDNA clones hybridize to mRNA species of 2.5 kb in length, and encode polypeptides of 68.5 and 69.3 kd, respectively. Primary sequence analysis, coupled with biochemical studies on the topology, indicates that both ribophorins are largely luminally disposed, spanning the membrane once and having 150 and 70 amino acid long cytoplasmically disposed C termini, respectively. Both are synthesized as precursors having cleavable signal sequences of 23 (ribophorin I) and 22 (ribophorin II) amino acids. The topology suggested by the primary structure has been confirmed biochemically using proteolytic enzymes and anti-ribophorin antibodies. Proteolysis of intact microsomes with a variety of enzymes resulted in a reduction in the apparent mol. wt of ribophorin I that would correspond to a loss of its 150-amino acid cytoplasmic tail. In the case of ribophorin II, it is completely resistant to such proteolysis which is consistent with its luminal disposition and fairly hydrophobic C terminus.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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