1. 1. Seed extracts of 20 plants species belonging to the family Cucurbitaceae were examined for their ability to inhibit protein synthesis in rabbit reticulocyte lysate and induce mid-term abortion in mice. 2. 2. Eleven extracts were found to inhibit protein synthesis by about or over 90%, seven extracts produced about 80% inhibition, one caused about 70% inhibition and one brought about approx. 40% inhibition, when the extracts were tested at a final concentration of 10 μg per ml. 3. 3. All of the seed extracts possessed potent mid-term abortifacient activity. 4. 4. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of the seed extracts disclosed the existence of a Coomassie Blue-stainable band with a mol. wt of ca 30,000 Da. This band probably accounts for the protein synthesis inhibiting and mid-term abortifacient activities. 5. 5. There was a similarity in the electrophoretograms of seed extracts of plants belonging to the same genus.
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