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Polyadenylation Occurs at Multiple Sites in Maize Mitochondrial cox2 mRNA and Is Independent of Editing Status

D. Shelley Lupold, Angelina G. F. S. Caoile and David B. Stern
The Plant Cell
Vol. 11, No. 8 (Aug., 1999), pp. 1565-1577
DOI: 10.2307/3870983
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3870983
Page Count: 13
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Polyadenylation Occurs at Multiple Sites in Maize Mitochondrial cox2 mRNA and Is Independent of Editing Status
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Abstract

Polyadenylation of nucleus-encoded transcripts has a well-defined role in gene expression. The extent and function of polyadenylation in organelles and prokaryotic systems, however, are less well documented. Recent reports of polyadenylation-mediated RNA destabilization in Escherichia coli and in vascular plant chloroplasts prompted us to look for polyadenylation in plant mitochondria. Here, we report the use of reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction to map multiple polyadenylate addition sites in maize mitochondrial cox2 transcripts. The lack of sequence conservation surrounding these sites suggests that polyadenylation may occur at many 3′ termini created by endoribonucleolytic and/or exoribonucleolytic activities, including those activities involved in 3′ end maturation. Endogenous transcripts could be efficiently polyadenylated in vitro by using maize mitochondrial lysates with an activity that added AMP more efficiently than GMP. Polyadenylated substrates were tested for stability in maize mitochondrial S100 extracts, and we found that, compared with nonpolyadenylated RNAs, the polyadenylated substrates were less stable. Taken together with the low abundance of polyadenylated RNAs in maize mitochondria, our results are consistent with a degradation-related process. The fact that polyadenylation does not dramatically destabilize plant mitochondrial transcripts, at least in vitro, is in agreement with results obtained for animal mitochondria but differs from those obtained for chloroplasts and E. coli. Because fully edited, partially edited, and unedited transcripts were found among the cloned polyadenylated cox2 cDNAs, we conclude that RNA editing and polyadenylation are independent processes in maize mitochondria.

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