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EMBO J. Mar 1, 1996; 15(5): 1132–1141.
PMCID: PMC450011

Chloroplast mRNA 3'-end processing by a high molecular weight protein complex is regulated by nuclear encoded RNA binding proteins.


In the absence of efficient transcription termination correct 3'-end processing is an essential step in the synthesis of stable chloroplast mRNAs in higher plants. We show here that 3'-end processing in vitro involves endonucleolytic cleavage downstream from the mature terminus, followed by exonucleolytic processing to a stem-loop within the 3'-untranslated region. These processing steps require a high molecular weight complex that contains both endoribonucleases and an exoribonuclease. In the presence of ancillary RNA binding proteins the complex correctly processes the 3'-end of precursor RNA. In the absence of these ancillary proteins 3'-end maturation is prevented and plastid mRNAs are degraded. Based on these results we propose a novel mechanism for the regulation of mRNA 3'-end processing and stability in chloroplasts.

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