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Like bacterial and cytoplasmic ribosomes, mitoribosomes are large ribonucleoprotein complexes with molecular weights in the range of several million Daltons. Traditionally, studying the assembly of such high molecular weight complexes is done using ultracentrifugation through linear density gradients, which remains the method of choice due to its versatility and superior resolving power in the high molecular weight range. Here, we present a protocol for the analysis of mitoribosomal assembly in heart mitochondrial extracts using linear density sucrose gradients that we have previously employed to characterize the essential role of different mitochondrial proteins in mitoribosomal biogenesis. This protocol details in a stepwise manner a typical mitoribosomal assembly analysis starting with isolation of mitochondria, preparation and ultracentrifugation of the gradients, fractionation and ending with SDS-PAGE, and immunoblotting of the gradient fractions. Even though we provide an example with heart mitochondria, this protocol can be directly applied to virtually all mouse tissues, as well as cultured cells, with little to no modifications.


Benedetta Ruzzenente, Metodi D Metodiev. Linear Density Sucrose Gradients to Study Mitoribosomal Biogenesis in Tissue-Specific Knockout Mice. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2021;2224:47-60

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PMID: 33606205

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