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Protein Bodies of Castor Bean Endosperm: Isolation, Fractionation, and the Characterization of Protein Components

Raymond E. Tully and Harry Beevers
Plant Physiology
Vol. 58, No. 6 (Dec., 1976), pp. 710-716
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4264632
Page Count: 7
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Protein Bodies of Castor Bean Endosperm: Isolation, Fractionation, and the Characterization of Protein Components
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Abstract

Protein bodies in the endosperm of castor bean seeds (Ricinus communis L.) contain phytin globoids and protein crystalloids embedded in an amorphous proteinaceous matrix. The protein bodies are apparently surrounded by a single membrane. The protein bodies were isolated by grinding and centrifuging in glycerol. Such isolated protein bodies were almost identical (after cytological fixation) to those observed in situ, except that the globoids were lost. However, membrane-like structures appear to have surrounded the globoids. Histochemical analysis of the isolated protein bodies showed that carbohydrates (glycoproteins) are localized only in the matrix region. Addition of water to protein bodies in glycerol caused dissolution of the matrix, and release of the globoids and crystalloids. When the crystalloids were centrifuged on sucrose density gradients, they were recovered at an equilibrium density of 1.29 to 1.30 g/ml. The crystalloids were only slightly soluble in most aqueous buffers but were very soluble in sodium dodecyl sulfate, urea, or NaOH solutions. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis in the presence of sodium dodecyl sulfate and chromatography on ion exchange celluloses show that the protein bodies are composed of one major and several minor anodic proteins. The major protein, along with a few of the minor proteins, is localized in the crystalloids. The major protein (molecular weight 65,000) was converted by mercaptoethanol into subunits with molecular weights of 32,000 and 15,800. It is proposed that the protein is made up of two of the smaller subunits and one of the larger, linked by disulfide bridges. None of the crystalloid proteins appear to be glycosylated. The water-soluble matrix fraction is composed mainly of two proteins, with molecular weights of 12,500 and 10,300 on the gels. Neither is a glycoprotein, and neither can be reduced with mercaptoethanol to give subunits. The soluble fraction also contains other lesser components among which are several glycoprotein lectins. One of these is ricin D, which is the main glycoprotein in the protein bodies.

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