Messenger RNA in Early Sea-Urchin Embryos: Size Classes

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Science  08 Oct 1965:
Vol. 150, Issue 3693, pp. 217-221
DOI: 10.1126/science.150.3693.217


Rapidly labeled RNA from four-cell embryos and blastulae of sea urchins was analyzed by sedimentation and for ability to form DNA-RNA hybrids. The RNA was derived from polyribosomes and from the "gel interphase," an extraction compartment resulting from treatment of whole embryos with phenol and known to be enriched with nuclei. The RNA from both sources displayed a high degree of structural complementarity to DNA. This DNA-like RNA of the polyribosomes sedimented in discrete classes, rather than in the sedimentation continuum demonstrable for the labeled RNA of the gel interphase. Thus messenger RNA appears to emerge in the cytoplasm in discrete size classes.