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Blood. 1987 Jul;70(1):293-300.

Equal stabilities of normal beta globin and nontranslatable beta0 -39 thalassemic transcripts in cell-free extracts.


Patients with beta zero thalassemia arising from premature terminator codon mutations in the gene for beta globin do not produce beta globin protein; these individuals also exhibit a decreased amount of beta globin mRNA in their erythroid cells. The absence of beta globin protein is readily explained by the inability of the beta zero-39 mRNA to be translated. The decrease in beta globin mRNA has been attributed to either decreased cytoplasmic stability of the nontranslatable decreased cytoplasmic stability of the nontranslatable mRNA or to an undefined nuclear lesion. To compare directly the relative stabilities of normal and beta zero-39 thalassemic globin transcripts, we prepared normal and thalassemic beta globin pre-mRNAs and mRNAs using cloned DNA templates and the SP6 promoter-polymerase system. The stability of the transcripts was assessed by incubation in various cell-free extracts. Our results indicate that although the stabilities of the beta globin transcripts varied considerably from one extract to another the stabilities of the beta zero-39 thalassemic pre-mRNAs and mRNAs were equal to those of normal beta globin mRNAs in every extract tested.

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