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Mol Gen Genet. 1996 Oct 28;252(6):676-83.

The 3' untranslated regions of chloroplast genes in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii do not serve as efficient transcriptional terminators.

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Department of Biology, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel.


A general characteristic of the 3' untranslated regions of plastid mRNAs is an inverted repeat sequence that can fold into a stem-loop structure. These stem-loops are superficially similar to structures involved in prokaryotic transcription termination, but were found instead to serve as RNA 3' end processing signals in spinach chloroplasts, and in the atpB mRNA of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii chloroplasts. In order to carry out a broad study of the efficiency of the untranslated sequences at the 3' ends of chloroplast genes in Chlamydomonas to function as transcription terminators, we performed in vivo run-on transcription experiments using Chlamydomonas chloroplast transformants in which different 3' ends were inserted into the chloroplast genome between a petD promoter and a reporter gene. The results showed that none of the 3' ends that were tested, in either sense or antisense orientation, prevented readthrough transcription, and thus were not highly efficient transcription terminators. Therefore, we suggest that most or all of the 3' ends of mature mRNAs in Chlamydomonas chloroplasts are formed by 3' end processing of longer precursors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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