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Synthesis and maturation of ribosomal ribonucleic acids in isolated HeLa cell nuclei. A tracer study on the topology of the 45S precursor of ribosomal ribonucleic acids


Synthesis and maturation of ribosomal ribonucleic acids in isolated HeLa cell nuclei. A tracer study on the topology of the 45S precursor of ribosomal ribonucleic acids



Biochemical Journal 142(2): 263-272



ISSN/ISBN: 0264-6021

PMID: 4474879

DOI: 10.1042/bj1420263

The synthesis and processing of RNA by isolated HeLa cell nuclei was studied at low ionic strength in the presence of alpha-amanitin. The RNA polymerase reaction, with endogenous template and enzyme, rapidly reaches a plateau dependent on the amount of nuclei. Evidence is presented that incorporation of [(3)H]UMP proceeds only in growing RNA chains, whereas initiation of new RNA chains is arrested. The product formed contains all the main components of the 45S pre-rRNA (precursor of rRNA) maturation pathway (45S, 32S and 20S pre-rRNA; 28S and 18S rRNA). Most of the labelled material is in the mature rRNA components and their immediate precursors, even at very short times of incubation (2min). Small, but definite, 5S and 4S RNA peaks are also observed. At shorter incubation times a substantial amount of [(3)H]UMP is incorporated into RNA molecules in the 24S and 10-16S zones. This RNA material is considered to represent the non-conserved segments of 45S pre-rRNA in the process of nucleolytic degradation. A model for the tracer study of the topology of 45S pre-rRNA, on arrest of rRNA initiation, is discussed. The experimental evidence obtained supports the following structure of 45S pre-rRNA: 5'-end-28S rRNA unit-18S rRNA unit-nonconserved segment-3'-end.

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Accession: 044504359

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