A low-molecular-weight factor was isolated from cell extracts of Escherichia coli K-12. The concentration of the factor in cells was dependent upon nutritional conditions, the concentration being higher in faster growing cells. Treatment of cells with colicin K caused an increase in concentration of the factor. The factor inhibited protein synthesis in E. coli. This inhibition was reversible, apparently because of metabolism of the factor. The inhibition of synthesis of beta-galactosidase lasted longer than the inhibition of protein synthesis; cyclic AMP eliminated this difference. The factor inhibited the synthesis of beta-galactosidase from preformed lac mRNA, indicating an inhibition of translation. Kinetic studies of the onset of inhibition of beta-galactosidase synthesis by the factor suggested that the factor may inhibit protein synthesis at the initiation of translation
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