Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)


Biomedical Sciences

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

W. Scott Champney

Committee Members

John J. Laffan, Mitchell E. Robinson


Antibacterial agents specific for the 50S ribosomal subunit not only inhibit translation but also prevent assembly of that subunit. I examined the 30S ribosomal subunit in growing Escherichia coli cells to see if antibiotics specific for that subunit also had a second inhibitory effect. I used the aminoglycoside antibiotics paromomycin and neomycin, which bind specifically to the 30S ribosomal subunit. Both antibiotics inhibited the growth rate, viable cell number, and protein synthesis. I used a 3H-uridine pulse and chase assay to examine the kinetics of ribosome subunit assembly in the presence and absence of each antibiotic. Analysis revealed a concentration dependent inhibition of 30S subunit formation in the presence of each antibiotic. Sucrose gradient profiles of cell lysates showed the accumulation of an intermediate 21S translational particle. Taken together this data gives the first demonstration that 30S ribosomal subunit inhibitors can also prevent assembly of the small subunit.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access


Copyright by the authors.