Secondary structure of ovalbumin messenger RNA.
The secondary structure of highly purified ovalbumin mRNA was studied by automated thermal denaturation techniques and the data were subjected to computer processing. Comparative studies with 20 natural and synthetic model nucleic acids suggested that the secondary structure of ovalbumin mRNA possesses the following features: the extent of base pairing of ovalbumin mRNA is similar to that found in tRNAs or ribosomal RNAs; the secondary structure of ovalbumin mRNA is more thermolabile than any of the model compounds tested, including the copolymer poly(A-U); ovalbumin mRNA does not have extensive G-C rich stems as found in tRNAs or ribosomal RNAs; the base composition of the double-stranded regions reveals 54% G-C residues which was significantly higher than that noted in the whole molecule (approximately 41.5% G-C). The presence of 46% A-U pairs in short stems of about five base pairs would have a very large destabilizing effect on the secondary structure of ovalbumin mRNA. However, at 0.175 M monovalent cations and 36 degrees C most of the secondary structure of ovalbumin mRNA is preserved. These data suggest that the double-stranded regions in ovalbumin mRNA are of sufficient length to provide the necessary stability for maintaining the open loop regions in an appropriate conformation which may be required for the biological function of ovalbumin mRNA. Furthermore, the lability of the double-stranded regions in ovalbumin mRNA may also be important for the biological function of this mRNA.
Van, NT; Holder, JW; Woo, SL; Means, AR; O'Malley, BW
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