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Cell. 1975 Jul;5(3):281-90.

hnRNA size and processing as related to different DNA content in two dipterans: Drosophila and Aedes.


The size of hnRNA transcripts and the fraction of hnRNA that is converted to mRNA in cell lines of Drosophila melanogaster and Aedes albopictus are compared. Both insects belong to the order Diptera, but Aedes has a 5-6 fold larger genome than does Drosophila. The Aedes line produces significantly (2-2.5 fold) larger hnRNA than does the Drosophila line, even though the two cell lines grow under similar conditions and produce mRNA of the same size and sequence complexity. These data suggest that within a given taxonomic order, the size of hnRNA increases with increasing genome size. The fraction of hnRNA converted to mRNA [cytoplasmic poly(A)+ RNA] has been measured for the two cell types by comparing initial rates of labeling of hnRNA with initial rates of appearance of labeled mRNA in the cytoplasm. While 20of the Drosophila hnRNA is converted to mRNA, only 3.3% of the Aedes hn %RNA is converted to mrRNA. The poly(A) content of the hnRNA from the two species is also different; Drosophila hnRNA has approximately three times as much poly(A) as does Aedes hnRNA. The data show-at least for these two species-that the average amount of hnRNA transcribed relative to the amount of mRNA formed increases as genome size increases. The data are consistent with the interpretation that more DNA is transcribed into hnRNA in Aedes, the organism with the larger genome, than in Drosophila.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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