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J Biol Chem. 2008 Feb 15;283(7):3767-72. Epub 2007 Dec 17.

Pet127 governs a 5' -> 3'-exonuclease important in maturation of apocytochrome b mRNA in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Department of Medical Biology, Medical School, University of Pécs, H-7624 Pécs, Hungary.


The details of mRNA maturation in Saccharomyces mitochondria are not well understood. All seven mRNAs are transcribed as part of multigenic units. The mRNAs are processed at a common 3'-dodecamer sequence, but the 5'-ends have seven different sequences. To investigate whether apocytochrome b (COB) mRNA is processed at the 5'-end from a longer precursor by an endonuclease or an exonuclease, a 64-nucleotide sequence, which is required for the protection of COB mRNA by the Cbp1 protein and is found at the 5'-end of the processed COB mRNA, was duplicated in tandem. The wild-type 64-nucleotide element functioned in either the upstream or downstream position when paired with a mutant element. In the tandem wild-type strain, the 5'-end of the mRNA was at the 5'-end of the upstream unit, demonstrating that the mRNA is processed by an exonuclease. Accumulation of precursor COB RNA in single and double element strains with a deletion of PET127 demonstrated that the encoded protein governs the 5'-exonuclease responsible for processing the precursor to the mature form.

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