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Mol Gen Genet. 1991 Aug;228(1-2):258-64.

Post-transcriptional regulation in higher eukaryotes: the role of the reporter gene in controlling expression.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, CA 94305-5020.


We have investigated whether reporter genes influence cytoplasmic regulation of gene expression in tobacco and Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. Two genes, uidA encoding beta-glucuronidase (GUS) from Escherichia coli and Luc, encoding firefly luciferase (LUC), were used to analyze the ability of a cap, polyadenylated tail, and the 5'- and 3'-untranslated regions (UTR) from tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) to regulate expression. The regulation associated with the 5' cap structure and the TMV 5'-UTR, both of which enhance translational efficiency, was reporter gene-independent. The poly(A) tail and the TMV 3'-UTR, which is functionally equivalent to a poly(A) tail, increase translational efficiency as well as mRNA stability. The regulation associated with these 3' ends was highly reporter gene-dependent; their effect on GUS expression was almost an order of magnitude greater than that on LUC expression. In tobacco, the tenfold reporter gene effect on poly(A) tail or TMV 3'-UTR function could not be explained by a differential impact on mRNA stability; GUS and LUC mRNA half-life increased only twofold when either the poly(A) tail or TMV 3'-UTR was present. In CHO cells, however, GUS mRNA was stabilized to a greater extent by a poly(A) tail or the TMV 3'-UTR than was LUC mRNA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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