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J Biol Chem. 1981 Aug 10;256(15):7806-11.

Double-stranded RNA causes synthesis of 2',5'-oligo(A) and degradation of messenger RNA in interferon-treated cells.


Interferon-treated HeLa cells were incubated with [3H]uridine to label mRNA and were then exposed to the double-stranded RNA poly(inosinic acid).poly(cytidylic acid) (In.Cn). The incubation with In.Cn greatly enhanced the decay of mRNA. When the cells were incubated in this way in the presence of cycloheximide, which blocks ribosome movement along mRNA, extensive polysome degradation was detected in interferon-treated cells. Products of degradation of mRNA were recovered from monosomes which were presumably formed as a result of endonucleolytic breaks of mRNA. This endonucleolytic activity was correlated with the formation of 2',5'-oligo(A) by an enzyme induced by interferon and activated by double-stranded RNA; the 2',5'-oligo(A) was previously shown to activate an endonuclease in cell extracts. The 2',5'-oligo(A) levels in cells were measured by a competition-binding assay. Details of the procedure used are described, including synthesis of highly radioactive (2'-5')pppA3[32P]cytidine 3',5'-diphosphate, separation of 2',5'-oligo(A) binding from degrading activities, and specificity of the assay.

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