Sequence and spatial requirements for the tissue- and species-independent 3'-end processing mechanism of plant mRNA

L. Wu, T. Ueda, J. Messing

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12 Scopus citations


Two cis-regulatory regions are required for efficient mRNA 3'-end processing of the maize 27-kDa zein mRNA: a region containing a duplicated AAUGAA poly(A) signal and a region that is present upstream from it. Strict spatial positioning of these two regions is required for efficient mRNA 3'- end processing. Insertion of a stuffer sequence as short as 17 or 18 bp either between the upstream region and the two AAUGAA motifs or between the two AAUGAA motifs drastically reduced the efficiency of 3'-end processing. Mutational analyses of the nucleotide preference at the fourth position of the AAUGAA motif revealed the preference order G > A >> C or U, suggesting that AAUAAA is neither a defective nor an optimal poly(A) signal for the 27- kDa zein mRNA. As for the 3' control region of the cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) transcription unit, the mRNA 3'-end processing mechanism mediated by the 27-kDa zein 3' control sequence is neither tissue nor species specific. The 3' upstream sequence of the 27-kDa zein gene can functionally replace that of the CaMV transcription unit. Conversely, the CaMV upstream sequence can mediate mRNA polyadenylation in the presence of a duplicated 27-kDa zein poly(A) signal. However, instead of the proximal poly(A) signal normally used in the 27-kDa zein mRNA, the distal signal is utilized. These results suggest that a general mechanism controls the 3'-end processing of plant mRNAs and that the cis-regulatory functions mediated by their upstream regions are interchangeable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6829-6838
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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