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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Polynucleotide phosphorylase and ribonuclease II are required for cell viability and mRNA turnover in Escherichia coli K-12.


PMID 2417233

Abstract

The isolation of a temperature-sensitive allele of RNase II (rnb) by in vitro mutagenesis has permitted the demonstration that RNase II and polynucleotide phosphorylase (PNPase) are required for cell viability and mRNA turnover in Escherichia coli. Double-mutant strains carrying the pnp-7 and rnb-500 alleles (PNPase deficient and RNase II thermolabile) ceased growing in Luria broth within 30 min after shift to the nonpermissive temperature. Cessation of growth was accompanied by an accumulation of mRNA fragments 100-1500 nucleotides long. In contrast, single-mutant and wild-type control strains grew normally at the nonpermissive temperature and did not accumulate mRNA. No significant changes in rRNA patterns were observed in any of the strains.