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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Aug 1977; 74(8): 3171–3175.
PMCID: PMC431482

Spliced segments at the 5' terminus of adenovirus 2 late mRNA.


An mRNA fraction coding for hexon polypeptide, the major virion structural protein, was purified by gel electrophoresis from extracts of adenovirus 2-infected cells late in the lytic cycle. The mRNA sequences in this fraction were mapped between 51.7 and 61.3 units on the genome by visualizing RNA-DNA hybrids in the electron microscope. When hybrids of hexon mRNA and single-stranded restriction endonuclease cleavage fragments of viral DNA were visualized in the electron microscope,branched forms were observed in which 160 nucleotides of RNA from the 5' terminus were not hydrogen bonded to the single-stranded DNA. DNA sequences complementary to the RNA sequences in each 5' tail were found by electron microscopy to be located at 17, 20, and 27 units on the same strand as that coding for the body of the hexon mRNA. Thus, four segments of viral RNA may be joined together during the synthesis of mature hexon mRNA. A model is presented for adenovirus late mRNA synthesis that involves multiple splicing during maturation of a larger precursor nuclear RNA.

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