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

Analysis of RNA initiated in isolated mouse myeloma nuclei using purine nucleoside 5'[gamma-S]triphosphates as affinity probes.

The purine ribonucleoside triphosphate analogues adenosine 5'[gamma-S]triphosphate and guanosine 5'[gamma-T]triphosphate were used as affinity probes for studying RNA chain initiation in isolated nuclei from the mouse myeloma 66.2 cell line. Transcripts initiated with either nucleotide analogue were isolated by affinity chromatography on a mercury-agarose affinity column. The binding was specific and dependent upon the inclusion of the sulfur nucleotide analogues in the in vitro synthetic reaction. Several lines of evidence indicate that the affinity-labeled RNA is initiated in vitro. First, the sulfur nucleotide is recovered in high yield as a single nucleoside 5'[gamma-S]triphosphate 2',3'-monophosphate product following alkaline hydrolysis of RNA bound to the affinity column. Second, authentic ribosomal 5S RNA is known to initiate with GTP; in vitro 5S RNA is bound to mercury-agarose only if [gamma-S]GTP is used as the affinity label in the synthesis, and not if [gamma-S]ATP is used. Under the conditions studied, nuclei incorporated 1.2--2.4 pmole of UMP per 10(6) nuclei per min, and the rate of synthesis was unaffected by substitution of the nucleotide analogues for the normal nucleotides. The percentage of the total RNA synthesized that was incorporated into sequences initiated in vitro was 7.8 +/- 1.5% with [gamma-S]ATP and 9.6 +/- 6.4% with [gamma-S]GTP. The size of the total RNA synthesized, determined by sedimentation on sucrose density gradients containing dimethylsulfoxide, ranged from less than 5S to 45S, and the size of the affinity-labeled sequences ranged from less than 5S to 28S. Approximately half of the incorporation into RNA initiated in vitro was sensitive to a concentration of alpha-amanitin which selectively inhibits polymerase II activity. Most of the remaining incorporation into initiated sequences can be abolished by concentrations of alpha-amanitin that are inhibitory for polymerase III activity. Over 70% of the total incorporation into ribosomal 5S RNA transcripts was into sequences initiated in vitro. This initiation was catalyzed by polymerase III and was specific for GTP as the initiating nucleotide. The RNAase T1 fingerprint of the newly initiated 5S RNA indicates that this gene is accurately initiated and faithfully elongated in vitro. The use of these affinity label probes provides much greater sensitivity for studying the initiation of RNA in vitro.[1]


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