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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Microinjection of purified ornithine decarboxylase into Xenopus oocytes selectively stimulates ribosomal RNA synthesis.

This study has utilized stage VI oocytes of Xenopus laevis which have amplified the rDNA gene 1,000-fold to assess whether the microinjection of ornithine decarboxylase (OrnDCase) would stimulate [alpha-32P]guanosine incorporation into 45S and 18S/28S RNA selectively. The injection of purified OrnDCase into individual oocytes resulted in a greater than 2-fold increase in the incorporation of [32P]guanosine into 45S RNA and 18S/28S RNA with no increased incorporation into low molecular weight RNA. Further, an irreversible inhibitor of OrnDCase, alpha-difluoromethylornithine (CHF2-Orn), rapidly inhibited the endogenous activity of OrnDCase when added to the buffered Hepes solution bathing the oocytes and also inhibited the incorporation of [32P]guanosine into rRNA. The inhibitory effect of CHF2-Orn could not be reversed totally by addition of 10 microM putrescine to the oocytes. OrnDCase injected into oocytes in the presence of CHF2-Orn in the media did not stimulate incorporation of [32P]guanosine label into rRNA. However, when CHF2-Orn was removed from the buffered medium at the time of the injection of label and enzyme, a 3-fold increase of 32P incorporation into 18S/28S RNA occurred. Therefore, in an in vivo model in which amplified extrachromosomal rDNA gene copies are present, the microinjection of OrnDCase was capable of specifically stimulating rRNA synthesis. CHF2-Orn, a suicide enzyme inactivator of OrnDCase, was able to inhibit rRNA synthesis and, after washout, there was a more marked stimulation of rRNA synthesis than occurred after only the injection of OrnDCase alone. These data suggest further that OrnDCase is the labile protein that regulates the initiation of RNA synthesis.[1]


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