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Mol Microbiol. 1998 Jan;27(1):23-30.

Bacteriophage T7 mRNA is polyadenylated.

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Boston Biomedical Research Institute, MA 02114, USA.


To determine whether the RNA of bacterial viruses is polyadenylated like bacterial mRNAs, pulse-labelled as well as the steady-state population of bacteriophage T7-specific transcripts were examined for the presence of poly(A) tracts by binding to oligo(dT) cellulose followed by hybridization with specific gene probes. Representatives of all classes of bacteriophage-specific mRNA--early, middle and late--were found to be polyadenylated. This conclusion was confirmed by screening the products of oligo(dT)-dependent cDNA synthesis. A cDNA library was prepared from RNA synthesized after bacteriophage T7 infection and the sequence of bacteriophage-specific clones was determined to define the sites of polyadenylation. About half of the clones were polyadenylated near the end of a protein-coding region, one of them at the site of post-transcriptional processing by RNase III. Other clones were polyadenylated within protein-coding regions. These observations suggest that polyadenylation occurs after the nucleolytic processing of primary transcripts and in some cases also after mRNA degradation has already begun.

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