1. A cell-free system prepared from Krebs II ascites cells can translate a number of purified messenger RNAs, of both cellular and viral origin. Various parameters of this system are explored. 2. It is shown that the optimal conditions for translation of globin mRNA differ from those for encephalomyocarditis (EMC) virus RNA. In certain conditions the system translates efficiently one of these messengers but appears unresponsive to the other. 3. The significance of this observation is discussed with reference to the question of messenger-specific initiation factors. 4. The globin synthesized in the ascites system is further characterized. It is indistinguishable from authentic globin but contains an excess of β chains.
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