Transcription of Nonrepeated DNA in Mouse Brain

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Science  09 Jul 1971:
Vol. 173, Issue 3992, pp. 158-161
DOI: 10.1126/science.173.3992.158


Under normal conditions of DNA renaturation, about 60 percent of mouse DNA fragments renature at a rate consistent with their being present only once per sperm. These nonrepeated sequences (also called single-copy or unique) may be used in RNA-DNA hybridization experiments to provide quantitative estimates of RNA diversity. About 10 percent of the mouse single-copy sequences are transcribed in mouse brain tissue. Estimates of about 3 percent were obtained for mouse liver and kidney RNA's. If only one of the complementary DNA strands is transcribed, this hybridization value implies that the equivalent of at least 300,000 different sequences of 1000 nucleotides are expressed in mouse brain tissue. It is suggested that the large amount of DNA in mammals is functionally important, and that a substantial proportion of the genome is expressed in the brain.