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EMBO Rep. 2005 Dec;6(12):1188-93.

RNA polyadenylation in Archaea: not observed in Haloferax while the exosome polynucleotidylates RNA in Sulfolobus.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, Israel.


The addition of poly(A) tails to RNA is a phenomenon common to all organisms examined so far. No homologues of the known polyadenylating enzymes are found in Archaea and little is known concerning the mechanisms of messenger RNA degradation in these organisms. Hyperthermophiles of the genus Sulfolobus contain a protein complex with high similarity to the exosome, which is known to degrade RNA in eukaryotes. Halophilic Archaea, however, do not encode homologues of these eukaryotic exosome components. In this work, we analysed RNA polyadenylation and degradation in the archaea Sulfolobus solfataricus and Haloferax volcanii. No RNA polyadenylation was detected in the halophilic archaeon H. volcanii. However, RNA polynucleotidylation occurred in hyperthermophiles of the genus Sulfolobus and was mediated by the archaea exosome complex. Together, our results identify the first organism without RNA polyadenylation and show a polyadenylation activity of the archaea exosome.

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