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FEBS Lett. 1993 Aug 16;328(3):250-2.

Endotoxin induces rat lung ribonuclease activity.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC 20007.


Lipopolysaccharide (endotoxin), a component of Gram-negative bacteria, causes marked alterations in eukaryotic gene expression and cellular physiology. We show that within one hour of injection of endotoxin into adult rats there is an induction of ribonuclease activity in the lung. The degradation of RNA was prevented by treatment of the lung extract from endotoxin-injected rats with ribonuclease inhibitor (RNasin). We suggest that induction by endotoxin of ribonuclease activity is a novel mechanism by which cells could alter gene expression to meet an environmental challenge and caution that the presence of ribonuclease can hinder molecular biological analyses of tissue extracts from endotoxin-treated rats.

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