Distribution of RNA transcripts from structural and intervening sequences of the ovalbumin gene

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Science  20 Apr 1979:
Vol. 204, Issue 4390, pp. 314-316
DOI: 10.1126/science.432646


A study was made of the function of the intervening sequences in the ovalbumin gene, Radioactively labeled DNA probes for the intervening sequences were prepared and RNA's were isolated from whole cells, nuclei, and polysomes of estrogen-stimulated chick oviducts. The concentrations of messenger RNA (mRNA) transcripts from ovalbumin structural sequences (mRNAov) and transcripts corresponding to intervening sequences were then estimated by hybridization to cloned DNA probes. Oviduct tissue contains approximately 58,000 molecules of mRNAov sequences per tubular gland cell and most of these sequences are present in the cytoplasm. In contrast, there are 200 to 300 molecules of RNA per cell which are transcribed from the intervening sequences of the natural ovalbumin gene and almost all of these are found in the nucleus. The difference in distribution of structural and intervening sequence transcripts suggests that, unlike mature mRNA, the intervening sequences are not preferentially transported to cytoplasmic polysomes.