A Newly Synthesized, Ribosome-bound Polypeptide Chain Adopts Conformations Dissimilar from Early in VitroRefolding Intermediates
Little is known about the conformations of newly synthesized polypeptide chains as they emerge from the large ribosomal subunit, or how these conformations compare with those populated immediately after dilution of polypeptide chains out of denaturantin vitro. Both in vivo and in vitro, partially folded intermediates of the tailspike protein from Salmonella typhimurium phage P22 can be trapped in the cold. A subset of monoclonal antibodies raised against tailspike recognize partially folded intermediates, whereas other antibodies recognize only later intermediates and/or the native state. We have used a pair of monoclonal antibodies to probe the conformational features of full-length, newly synthesized tailspike chains recovered on ribosomes from phage-infected cells. The antibody that recognizes early intermediates in vitro also recognizes the ribosome-bound intermediates. Surprisingly, the antibody that did not recognize early in vitro intermediates did recognize ribosome-bound tailspike chains translated in vivo. Thus, the newly synthesized, ribosome-bound tailspike chains display structured epitopes not detected upon dilution of tailspike chains from denaturant. As opposed to the random ensemble first populated when polypeptide chains are diluted out of denaturant, folding in vivo from the ribosome may begin with polypeptide conformations already directed toward the productive folding and assembly pathway.