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Evidence of multiple transcription initiation and termination sites within the rDNA intergenic spacer and rRNA readthrough transcription in the urochordate Herdmania curvata



Evidence of multiple transcription initiation and termination sites within the rDNA intergenic spacer and rRNA readthrough transcription in the urochordate Herdmania curvata



Molecular Marine Biology and Biotechnology 7(4): 294-302



Analysis of the structure of the urochordate Herdmania curvata ribosomal DNA intergenic spacer (IGS) and its role in transcription initiation and termination suggests that rRNA gene regulation in this chordate differs from that in vertebrates. A cloned H. curvata IGS is 1881 bp and composed predominantly of two classes of similar repeat sequences that largely alternate in a tandem array. Southern blot hybridization demonstrates that the IGS length variation within an individual and population is largely the result of changes in internal repeat number. Nuclease S1 mapping and primer extension analyses suggest that there are two transcription initiation sites at the 3' end of the most 3' repetitive element; these sites are 6 nucleotides apart. Unlike mouse, Xenopus, and Drosophila, there is no evidence of transcription starting elsewhere in the IGS. Most sequence differences between the promoter repeat and the other internal repeats are in the vicinity of the putative initiation sites. As in Drosophila, nuclease S1 mapping of transcription termination sites suggest that there is not a definitive stop site and a majority of the pre-rRNAs read through a substantial portion of the IGS. Some transcription appears to proceed completely through the promoter repeat into the adjacent rDNA unit. Analysis of oocyte RNA by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) confirms that readthrough transcription into the adjacent rDNA unit is occurring in some small IGS length variants; there is no evidence of complete readthrough of IGSs larger than 1.0 kb.

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Accession: 046022737

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PMID: 9892720


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