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Mol Microbiol. 1994 Nov;14(4):717-29.

A protein complex mediating mRNA degradation in Escherichia coli.

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  • 1Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories, Institute of Molecular Medicine, Oxford, UK.


mRNA degradation in Escherichia coli is mediated by a combination of exo- and endoribonucleases. We present evidence for a multiprotein complex which includes at least two enzymes that play important roles in mRNA degradation: the exoribonuclease polynucleotide phosphorylase (PNPase) and the endoribonuclease RNase E. An activity which impedes the processive activity of PNPase at stem-loop structures also appears to be associated with the complex. This complex is estimated to have a molecular mass of about 500 kDa and includes several additional polypeptides whose functions are unknown. The identification of a complex which includes several activities associated with mRNA degradation has implications for the mechanisms and co-ordinated control of mRNA degradation.

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