The maize transposable element Ds is spliced from RNA

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Science  21 Aug 1987:
Vol. 237, Issue 4817, pp. 916-918
DOI: 10.1126/science.3039661


In some instances, insertion of maize transposable elements into exons does not result in the total loss of enzymatic activity. In other instances, messenger RNAs of wild-type size are encoded by genes known to contain the maize transposable element Dissociation (Ds) in exons. To understand how Ds is processed from RNA, a study was made of transcripts encoded by two alleles of the maize waxy (wx) gene containing Ds insertions in exon sequences. The analysis was carried out in strains where the Ds element could not excise from the wx gene. Despite insertions of 4.3- and 1.5-Ds elements, the predominant transcripts encoded by these two genes were wild type in size. For both alleles, DNA sequencing of complementary DNAs revealed that the Ds elements had been spliced in a similar manner. Splicing was accomplished by the utilization of multiple 5' donor splice sites in the Ds termini and a 3' acceptor site within the wx gene adjacent to the Ds element. The net effect in both cases was the removal of most of the Ds element from the messenger RNA.

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