Protein translation components are colocalized in granules in oligodendrocytes

E. Barbarese, D. E. Koppel, M. P. Deutscher, C. L. Smith, K. Ainger, F. Morgan, J. H. Carson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

187 Scopus citations


The intracellular distribution of various components of the protein translational machinery was visualized in mouse oligodendrocytes in culture using high resolution fluorescence in situ hybridization and immunofluorescence in conjunction with dual channel confocal laser scanning microscopy. Arginyl-tRNA synthetase, elongation factor la, ribosomal RNA, and myelin basic protein mRNA were all co-localized in granules in the processes, veins and membrane sheets of the cell. Colocalization was evaluated by dual channel cross correlation analysis to determine the correlation index (% colocalization) and correlation distance (granule radius), and by single granule ratiometric analysis to determine the distribution of the different components in individual granules. Most granules contained synthetase, elongation factor, ribosomal RNA and myelin basic protein mRNA. These results indicate that several different components of the protein synthetic machinery, including aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases, elongation factors, ribosomes and mRNAs, are colocalized in granules in oligodendrocytes. We propose that these granules are supramolecular complexes containing all of the necessary macromolecular components for protein translation and that they represent a heretofore undescribed subcellular organization of the protein synthetic machinery. This spatial organization may increase the efficiency of protein synthesis and may also provide a vehicle for transport and localization of specific mRNAs within the cell.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2781-2790
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cell Science
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1995


  • Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase
  • Confocal
  • Correlation analysis
  • Elongation factor
  • In situ hybridization
  • mRNA
  • Ribosome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Protein translation components are colocalized in granules in oligodendrocytes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this