Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Plant Physiol. 1998 Aug;117(4):1433-43.

Premature polyadenylation at multiple sites within a Bacillus thuringiensis toxin gene-coding region.

Author information

  • 1Michigan State University-Department of Energy Plant Research Laboratory, East Lansing, 48824, USA.


Some foreign genes introduced into plants are poorly expressed, even when transcription is controlled by a strong promoter. Perhaps the best examples of this problem are the cry genes of Bacillus thuringiensis (B.t.), which encode the insecticidal proteins commonly referred to as B.t. toxins. As a step toward overcoming such problems most effectively, we sought to elucidate the mechanisms limiting the expression of a typical B.t.-toxin gene, cryIA(c), which accumulates very little mRNA in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) cells. Most cell lines transformed with the cryIA(c) B.t.-toxin gene accumulate short, polyadenylated transcripts. The abundance of these transcripts can be increased by treating the cells with cycloheximide, a translation inhibitor that can stabilize many unstable transcripts. Using a series of hybridizations, reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reactions, and RNase-H-digestion experiments, poly(A+) addition sites were identified in the B.t.-toxin-coding region corresponding to the short transcripts. A fourth polyadenylation site was identified using a chimeric gene. These results demonstrate for the first time to our knowledge that premature polyadenylation can limit the expression of a foreign gene in plants. Moreover, this work emphasizes that further study of the fundamental principles governing polyadenylation in plants will have basic as well as applied significance.

[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