Preparation of cells permeable to macromolecules by treatment with toluene: Studies of transfer ribonucleic acid nucleotidyltransferase

M. P. Deutscher

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20 Scopus citations


Transfer ribonucleic acid (tRNA) nucleotidyltransferase was studied after making E. coli cells permeable to macromolecules by treatment with toluene. The conditions of toluene treatment necessary for obtaining maximal activity were defined. Toluene treatment was most efficient when carried out for 5 min at 37C at pH 9.0 on log phase cells. No activity could be detected if cells were treated at 0C, or in the presence of MgCl2, or if the cells were in the stationary phase of growth. Inclusion of lysozyme and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid during the toluene treatment did render stationary phase cells permeable. The properties of tRNA nucleotidyltransferase from toluene treated cells were essentially identical to those of purified enzyme with regard to pH optimum, specificity for nucleoside triphosphates and tRNA, and apparent K(m) values for substrates. In addition to tRNA nucleotidyltransferase, a variety of other enzymes which incorporate adenosine 5' triphosphate into acid precipitable material could also be detected in toluene treated cells. Centrifugation of cells treated with toluene revealed that tRNA nucleotidyltransferase leaked out of cells, whereas other activities remained associated with the cell pellets. Chromatography of the material extracted from toluene treated cells on Sephadex G 100 indicated that toluene treatment selectively extracts lower molecular weight proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)633-639
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 1974

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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