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Stabilization of the 3' one-third of Escherichia coli ribosomal protein S20 mRNA in mutants lacking polynucleotide phosphorylase


Stabilization of the 3' one-third of Escherichia coli ribosomal protein S20 mRNA in mutants lacking polynucleotide phosphorylase



Journal of Bacteriology 171(8): 4112-4120



ISSN/ISBN: 0021-9193

PMID: 2666387

Mutations which largely inactivate polynucleotide phosphorylase and which render RNase II thermolabile exert two effects on the metabolism of the two nested mRNAs which encode ribosomal protein S20. (i) The lifetime of both mRNA species is extended 2.5-fold at 38 degrees C in a strain harboring both mutations. (ii) A relatively stable truncated fragment of these mRNAs accumulates to significant levels in strains lacking polynucleotide phosphorylase. The truncated RNA (Po RNA) is 147 to 148 residues long and is coterminal with the 3' ends of intact S20 mRNAs. Its 5' end appears to be generated by endonucleolytic cleavage to the 5' side of a G residue in the sequence AACCGAUC. The data are consistent with the hypothesis that S20 mRNAs can be degraded by alternative pathways. The normal pathway depends on functional polynucleotide phosphorylase and is concerted, since S20 mRNAs disappear without accumulation of detectable intermediates in the decay process. The slower alternative pathway is followed when polynucleotide phosphorylase is inactivated by mutation. This pathway is distinguished by segmental rather than concerted degradation of S20 mRNAs and involves at least one endonucleolytic cleavage. The 5' two-thirds of S20 mRNAs decays significantly more quickly than the 3' third in this latter mode of mRNA turnover.

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Accession: 018126219

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