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Cell. 1976 Jan;7(1):59-65.

Different lifetimes of reticulocyte messenger RNA.


About 85-90% of cytoplasmic protein synthesized by young reticulocytes is globin, and about 10% is a polypeptide (I) of molecular weight 64,000 daltons. Maturation of reticulocytes is accompanied by selective reduction in the synthesis of polypeptide I, relative to globin; mature reticulocytes synthesize globin at a high level but make no detectable polypeptide I. Studies in which RNA from young and old reticulocytes was translated in a wheat germ cell-free extract showed that reduction in synthesis of polypeptide I was correlated with a reduction in the amount of translatable mRNA for this protein. Differential destruction of mRNA thus is an important factor in determining the types of proteins made during the final stages of erythropoiesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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