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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1994 Apr 1;117(2):181-7.

Effects of starvation for exogenous carbon on functional mRNA stability and rate of peptide chain elongation in Escherichia coli.

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Department of General and Marine Microbiology, University of Göteborg, Sweden.


The decay rate of the potential to synthesize proteins after complete inhibition of transcription by rifampicin was analyzed to determine the functional mRNA stability of exponentially growing and glucose-starved Escherichia coli B and K12 cells. We found the following: (i) The half-life of the mRNA pool increased 2.2-fold during a period of 2 h of starvation (from 1.8 min in exponentially growing cells to 4.0 min for cells starved for 2 h); (ii) the effect on transcript stability appeared to be global since transcripts of genes that were induced, repressed or unaltered in their expression during starvation exhibited more or less the same increased stability; (iii) the rate of peptide chain elongation, as measured by the synthesis time for beta-galactosidase, decreased 1.9-fold during the starvation period studied and may, at least in part, account for the global stabilization of transcripts in starved cells.

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