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Dev Biol February 1, 1983; 95 (2): 468-75.

The activation of RNA synthesis by somatic nuclei injected into amphibian oocytes.

Wakefield L , Ackerman E , Gurdon JB .

Previous work has shown that nuclei of cultured cells or erythrocytes are transcriptionally activated when injected into the germinal vesicle of Xenopus oocytes. We now find that the total amount of stable RNA synthesized by an oocyte with injected nuclei is about twice that of an uninjected oocyte (approximately 15 ng/day). At least half of the RNA transcribed by the injected nuclei is low-molecular-weight RNA of discrete sizes, and is transcribed by RNA polymerase III. Part of this is attributable to a new class of gene (referred to as OAX) which makes a transcript about 180 nucleotides long, and which is activated by at least 50-fold in somatic nuclei injected into oocytes. OAX RNA is not a degradation or processing variant of ribosomal or 5 S RNA, and is not coded by mitochondrial DNA. It enters oocyte cytoplasm, but turns over with a half-life of less than 3 hr, as judged by the culture of enucleate oocyte cytoplasms for several days during which 4 and 5 S RNAs are stable. OAX RNA synthesis is not detected by labelling cultured cells or their nuclei. The results emphasize the selectivity with which components of an oocyte germinal vesicle activate genes in injected somatic nuclei.

PubMed ID: 6186549
Article link: Dev Biol