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EMBO J. 1997 Apr 15;16(8):2023-31.

The Adh-related gene of Drosophila melanogaster is expressed as a functional dicistronic messenger RNA: multigenic transcription in higher organisms.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, Downing Street, University of Cambridge, UK. sb@mole.bio.cam.ac.uk


Essentially all eukaryotic cellular mRNAs are monocistronic, and are usually transcribed individually. Two tandemly arranged Drosophila genes, alcohol dehydrogenase (Adh) and Adh-related (Adhr), are transcribed as a dicistronic transcript. From transcripts initiated from the Adh promoter, two classes of mRNA are accumulated, one is monocistronic and encodes Adh alone, the other is dicistronic and includes the open reading frames of both Adh and Adhr. The dicistronic transcript is found in polysomes and the Adhr protein product is detected by antibody staining. We present evidence that the accumulation of the dicistronic mRNA is controlled at the level of the 3' end processing.

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