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Structure and transcription termination of a lysine transfer rna gene from xenopus laevis



Structure and transcription termination of a lysine transfer rna gene from xenopus laevis



Journal of Molecular Biology 195(4): 835-846



Termination of RNA polymerase III transcripts commonly occurs at clusters of T residues. A T4 tract located 72 base-pairs beyond a lysine tRNA gene from Xenopus laevis serves as an efficient termination site for the tRNALys precursors synthesized from this gene in homologous cell-free extracts. Nucleotides following this T tract influence the extent of read-through transcription in vitro, but in a way that differs from Xenopus 5 S RNA termination. Only .apprx. 50% of the transcripts initiated in vitro extend as far as this downstream T cluster. The remainder prematurely terminate at a second T4 tract located within the gene itself. The contrasting behaviour of these two T tracts in injected oocytes indicates that termination can be influenced by more than just RNA polymerase III alone, and that different components may contribute to, or hinder, termination at these sites. Prematurely terminated tRNALys transcripts are detectable in RNA from ovary tissue but not from a kidney cell line, suggesting that read-through transcription beyond intragenic T clusters can be modulated in vivo.

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