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Mol Cell Biol. 1983 Nov;3(11):1920-9.

Regulation of histone mRNA production and stability in serum-stimulated mouse 3T6 fibroblasts.


We measured the content and metabolism of histone mRNA in mouse 3T6 fibroblasts during a serum-induced transition from the resting to growing state. The content of several histone H3 and H2b mRNAs was measured by an S1 nuclease procedure. All of these increase in parallel by a factor of about 50 during S phase. However, the rate of H3 gene transcription increased only fivefold during this period, as determined in an in vitro transcription assay. This suggests that histone mRNA content is also controlled at the posttranscriptional level. When resting cells were serum stimulated in the presence of cytosine arabinoside, the rate of H3 gene transcription increased to about the same extent as that in control-stimulated cells. However, cytoplasmic H3 mRNA content increased only five to seven-fold. The half-life of H3 mRNA during S phase was about 4 to 5 h. When cytosine arabinoside was added to cells in the S phase, the half-life of the message decreased to about 15 min. The rapid turnover of H3 mRNA was prevented when the drug was added in the presence of cycloheximide or puromycin. The rate of H3 gene transcription decreased by only 35% after treatment with cytosine arabinoside. These results suggest that H3 gene transcription is not tightly coupled to DNA replication but is controlled temporally during the resting to growing transition. However, there is a correlation between the rate of DNA synthesis and the stability of histone H3 mRNA.

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