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Mol Gen Genet. 1991 Feb;225(2):186-92.

Detection and abundance of mRNA and protein encoded by transposable element activator (Ac) in maize.

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Institut für Genetik, Universität zu Köln, Federal Republic of Germany.


The 3.5 kb long mRNA of the maize transposable element Ac contains an open reading frame (ORFa) which encodes a polypeptide of 807 amino acids, the putative transposase of Ac. The Ac mRNA is a rare transcript: we now estimate the fraction of Ac mRNA in wx-m7::Ac seedlings to be 2-13 x 10(-5) of the polyA RNA. Assuming that maize cells contain similar amounts of polyA RNA as another monocot (0.16 pg/cell), this is equivalent to 1.5-10 transcripts in each cell. A protein with an apparent molecular weight of 112 kDa is detected, by five antisera directed against different segments of ORFa, exclusively in nuclear extracts from Ac-containing maize. This protein is most likely the full-length Ac ORFa protein. We estimate its concentration to be in the range of 3 x 10(-7) of the nuclear proteins, or about 1000 molecules per triploid endosperm cell containing one Ac element.

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