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Cell. 1989 Nov 17;59(4):687-96.

An antisense mRNA directs the covalent modification of the transcript encoding fibroblast growth factor in Xenopus oocytes.

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Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco 94143-0448.


The Xenopus oocyte contains three maternal basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) transcripts, the largest of which encodes the complete bFGF polypeptide. We show that the smallest transcript is transcribed in the opposite direction of the largest transcript and overlaps part of the coding sequence of bFGF. This antisense transcript encodes a highly conserved 25 kd polypeptide. In addition, the antisense transcript causes modification of the mRNA encoding bFGF during maturation of the oocyte, converting half of the adenine residues to inosine in the region of overlap between the sense and antisense transcripts. As this activity acts only on double-stranded RNA, the two mRNAs must be hybridized in the oocyte. We discuss a possible role for the antisense transcript in regulating the stability of the bFGF mRNA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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