Differential inhibitory effects of antibiotics on the biosynthesis of envelope proteins of Escherichia coli

Akikazu Hirashima, Geoffrey Childs, Masayori Inouye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

87 Scopus citations

Abstract

Inhibitory effects of six antibiotics (kasugamycin, tetracycline, chloramphenicol, sparsomycin, puromycin and rifampicin) on the biosynthesis of envelope proteins of Escherichia coli were examined and compared with those on the biosynthesis of cytoplasmic proteins. Kasugamycin, puromycin and rifampicin were much more inhibitory to the over-all biosynthesis of cytoplasmic proteins than to that of envelope proteins. On the contrary, tetracycline and sparsomycin showed much stronger inhibitory effects on the biosynthesis of envelope proteins than on that of cytoplasmic proteins. Chloramphenicol showed little difference in its inhibitory effect on the biosynthesis of envelope proteins and cytoplasmic proteins. The envelope proteins were labeled with [3H]arginine in the presence of the antibiotics and separated by sodium dodecyl sulfate/polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The inhibitory effects of the antibiotics on the biosynthesis of individual envelope proteins were then examined. Inhibition patterns were found to be widely different from one envelope protein to the other. For example, the biosynthesis of one major envelope protein of molecular weight 38,000 was more resistant to kasugamycin, chloramphenicol and sparsomycin than that of the other envelope proteins. On the other hand, the biosynthesis of another major envelope protein (lipoprotein) of about 7500 molecular weight was much more resistant to puromycin and rifampicin than that of the other envelope proteins. In the case of tetracycline, little differential inhibitory effect on the biosynthesis of individual envelope proteins was observed. Stability of messenger RNAs for individual envelope proteins was also determined from the inhibitory effect of rifampicin on their biosynthesis. It was found that the average of half lives of mRNAs for major envelope proteins examined (5.5 minutes) is twice as long as the average of those of mRNAs for cytoplasmic proteins (2 minutes), except for the lipoprotein of about 7500 molecular weight which has extremely stable mRNA with a half life of 11.5 minutes. From these results the envelope proteins of E. coli appear to be biosynthesized in a somewhat different manner from that of the cytoplasmic proteins. Furthermore, at least some envelope proteins may have their own specific biosynthetic systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-389
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Volume79
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 15 1973
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology

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