The intracellular processes involved in synthesis, transport and storage of newly synthesized proteins in the rat somatotroph, together with their time course and metabolic requirements, have been investigated in a quantitative electron-microscopic radioautography study of the tissue following pulse labelling with tritium-labelled amino acids and chase incubations in various conditions. Proteins are synthesized initially on the rough-surfaced elements of the endoplasmic reticulum and are transported within 10 min after their synthesis to transitional areas between the rough-surfaced endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complex. Transfer to the Golgi lamellae is achieved, probably via transfer vesicles, within about 60 min after synthesis, while formation of mature storage granules occurs within 2 h following protein synthesis. Further experiments utilizing cycloheximide or ouabain during the chase incubations showed that the intracellular transport of newly synthesized protein and its time course are not significantly affected by inhibitors of protein synthesis, or by inhibition of sodium-potassium dependent ATPase by ouabain. Inhibitors of oxidative phosphorylation (250 µM 2,4-dinitrophenol) or of respiration (10 µM antimycin A) markedly reduced intracellular ATP levels and inhibited the intracellular transport processes. The requirement for ATP appeared to be operative at 2 stages: in the movement of transfer vesicles to the Golgi complex and in the formation of storage granules; possible roles of ATP in these processes are discussed.

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