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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1983 Oct 13;741(1):123-7.

G-418, an elongation inhibitor of 80 S ribosomes.


The mode of action of the aminoglycoside G-418 was studied in wheat-germ, cell-free translation systems programmed with rat-liver polyadenylated RNA. Incorporation of amino acids into protein was effectively inhibited by G-418 in the microM concentration range. The inhibition pattern obtained was not uniform. The synthesis of polypeptides with higher molecular weights was more inhibited than that of smaller polypeptides. An identical inhibition pattern within a similar range of concentrations was obtained with cycloheximide, a known elongation inhibitor. Translation activity was abolished when the wheat-germ 80 S ribosomes were removed and could be partially reconstructed upon addition of the ribosomes. Incubation with G-418 prior to isolation yielded ribosomes defective in their reconstruction ability. The inhibition pattern was not uniform and exhibited again the same relationship between the size of a polypeptide and the extent of inhibition of its synthesis. Therefore, we suggest that in wheat-germ, cell-free translation systems G-418 affects the 80 S ribosomes and inhibits the elongation cycle.

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