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Mol Reprod Dev. 1994 Nov;39(3):249-58.

Discriminating translation of insulin-like growth factor-II (IGF-II) during mouse embryogenesis.

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Zoology Department, Oxford University, UK.


The problem is to discover which of the promoters of the insulin-like growth factor-II gene stimulate the transcription of mRNA which is translated into protein. Three alternative leader exons are attached to the coding sequences in RNA transcribed from this gene in other systems, and it is mainly the paternal allele which is expressed in mouse development. Transcripts bearing each of the three leader exons were found in the RNA from the chorio-allantoic placenta, visceral yolk sac, and embryo, starting at 9.5 days. A varying proportion of one abundant transcript was disengaged from the polysomes at different days of development. This transcript was prefixed by the longest of the three alternative untranslated 5' leader exons (exon 2), and it was consistently associated with polysomes in the choroid plexus and leptomeninges of the brain. Many exon 2 transcripts were abbreviated by endonucleolytic cleavage and lacked a poly(A) tail. In contrast, the transcripts with the shortest leader (exon 3) were mainly displayed on polysomes at all the stages of development which were examined. During mouse development, the production of IGF-II protein must be partly controlled by the mechanisms which regulate translation.

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