Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1995 Mar 14;92(6):1807-11.

Polyadenylylation helps regulate mRNA decay in Escherichia coli.

Author information

  • 1Department of Genetics, University of Georgia, Athens 30602-7223.


As part of our genetic analysis of mRNA decay in Escherichia coli K-12, we examined the effect of the pcnB gene [encoding poly(A) polymerase I] on message stability. Eliminating poly(A) polymerase I (delta pcnB) dramatically stabilized the lpp, ompA, and trxA transcripts. The half-lives of individual mRNAs were increased in both a delta pcnB single mutant and a delta pcnB pnp-7 rnb-500 rne-1 multiple mutant. We also found mRNA decay intermediates in delta pcnB mutants that were not detected in control strains. By end-labeling total E. coli RNA with [32P]pCp and T4 RNA ligase and then digesting the RNA with RNase A and T1, we showed that many RNAs in a wild-type strain contained poly(A) tails ranging from 10 nt to > 50 nt long. When polynucleotide phosphorylase, RNase II, and RNase E were absent, the length (> 100 nt) and number (10- to 20-fold) of the poly(A) tails increased. After transcription initiation was stopped with rifampicin, polyadenylylation apparently continued. Deleting the structural gene for poly(A) polymerase I (pcnB) reduced the amount of 3'-terminal poly(A) sequences by > 90%. We propose a model for the role of polyadenylylation in mRNA decay.

Comment in

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk