Synthesis and insertion of cytochrome P-450 into endoplasmic reticulum membranes.

S. Bar-Nun*, G. Kreibich, M. Adesnik, L. Alterman, M. Negishi, D. D. Sabatini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Treatment of rats with phenobarbital leads to a substantial increase in levels of translatable liver cytochrome P-450 mRNA. This mRNA is primarily associated with ribosomes bound to endoplasmic reticulum membranes which in an in vitro system synthesized approximately 10 times more cytochrome P-450 than did free polysomes from the same animals. Cytochrome P-450 synthesized by rough microsomes in vitro appears to be directly inserted into the membranes because it was not released by a treatment with low detergent concentrations that released albumin and other microsomal content proteins. The amino-terminal amino acid sequence of cytochrome P-450 synthesized in an mRNA-dependent system resembles in hydrophobicity the signal segment of presecretory proteins and therefore may serve to insert the polypeptide into the membrane during synthesis. In contrast to the situation with secretory proteins and several other membrane proteins, however, the putative insertion signal of cytochrome P-450 is not removed by a membrane-associated peptidase and remains in the mature polypeptide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)965-969
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1980


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