The influence of magnesium ion concentration upon the equilibrium between the wheat germ ribosome and its subunits has been studied by light scattering. The curves obtained for ribosome dissociation and subunit reassociation were identical and were independent of the origin and direction of the magnesium ion titration, suggesting that the wheat germ ribosomes are behaving as a homogeneous population equivalent to Escherichia coli type A ribosomes. Increasing K+ concentrations in the presence of Mg2+ favored ribosome dissociation. Polyamines favored subunit reassociation, with 0.1 mM spermine acting as effectively as 1 mM spermidine.
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