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Cell. 1986 Jul 18;46(2):245-51.

The stability of E. coli gene transcripts is dependent on determinants localized to specific mRNA segments.


To map the structural features responsible for the 5-fold difference in stability of the E. coli ompA and bla gene transcripts, we have constructed gene fusions that encode chimeric ompA/bla transcripts and a deletion that eliminates a large internal segment of bla mRNA. Shortening of bla transcripts by internal deletion or replacement of the 3' end with the corresponding segment of the ompA transcript had little effect on bla mRNA stability. However, fusion of a 5'-terminal 147 nucleotide segment of the ompA message 5' to full-length or truncated bla transcripts increased the half-life of the bla segments 3- to 5-fold. These and other findings indicate that E. coli transcripts contain discrete structural determinants of stability and instability that can influence the decay rate of linked mRNA segments derived from other genes.

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