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Mol Cell Biol. 1983 Oct;3(10):1792-802.

Delayed processing of dihydrofolate reductase heterogeneous nuclear RNA in amino acid-starved mouse fibroblasts.


We have studied the metabolism of dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) RNA in cells synchronized in the G1 phase of the cell cycle by starvation for isoleucine and glutamine. The relative content and stability of DHFR mRNA and the relative rate of transcription of the DHFR gene are similar in starved and exponentially growing cells. However, the relative rate of labeling of DHFR mRNA is about three times lower in starved cells than in exponentially growing cells. When the starved cells are stimulated to reenter the cell cycle by feeding them with complete medium, the relative rate of labeling of DHFR mRNA increases about fourfold within 6 h. However, the relative rate of transcription of the DHFR gene changes very little during this period. Continuous labeling experiments show that starved cells convert DHFR heterogeneous nuclear RNA into cytoplasmic DHFR mRNA much more slowly than serum-limited or exponentially growing cells. Pulse-chase experiments show that DHFR mRNA sequences contained in DHFR heterogeneous nuclear RNA appear to be conserved in starved cells. In addition, the content of DHFR RNA sequences in the nuclei of starved cells is about three times greater than that in exponentially growing cells. Delayed processing of DHFR heterogeneous nuclear RNA is also observed when exponentially growing cells are treated with inhibitors of protein synthesis. Our results suggest that, although delayed processing leads to a decrease in the initial labeling rate of DHFR mRNA, it does not result in a decrease in the actual rate of production of the message.

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