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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1988 Jan;85(2):372-6.

Trans-splicing in chloroplasts: the rps 12 loci of Nicotiana tabacum.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, University of Arizona, Tucson 85721.


The rps12 gene in tobacco chloroplasts consists of three exons that code for a polypeptide with homology to Escherichia coli ribosomal protein S12. C-terminal exons 2 and 3 of rps12 are located in the inverted repeat regions of the tobacco chloroplast genome. Exon 1 of rps12 is 29 kilobase pairs downstream of the nearest copy of exons 2 and 3 and 69 kilobase pairs away from the distal copy of exons 2 and 3. RNA gel blot hybridization analysis and primer extension sequencing of cDNA to rps12 encoding RNAs indicate that exon 1 and exons 2 and 3 are encoded on separate transcripts. Exon 1 and exons 2 and 3 are covalently ligated in the correct reading frame in rps12 mRNA. These results indicate that a bimolecular (trans-) splicing event occurs during the formation of mature rps12 mRNA.

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