Analysis of intergenic spacer transcripts suggests ...

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Title Analysis of intergenic spacer transcripts suggests 'read-around' transcription of the extrachromosomal circular rDNA in Euglena gracilis
Author(s) Spencer J. Greenwood, M. N. Schnare, J. R. Cook, M. W. Gray
Journal Nucleic Acids Research
Date 2001
Volume 29
Issue 10
Start page 2191
End page 2198
Abstract We report here the sequence of the 1743 bp intergenic spacer (IGS) that separates the 3'-end of the large subunit ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene from the 5'-end of the small subunit (SSU) rRNA gene in the circular, extrachromosomal ribosomal DNA (rDNA) of Euglena gracilis. The IGS contains a 277 nt stretch of sequence that is related to a sequence found in ITS 1, an internal transcribed spacer between the SSU and 5.8S rRNA genes. Primer extension analysis of IGS transcripts identified three abundant reverse transcriptase stops that may be analogous to the transcription initiation site (TIS) and two processing sites (A' and A0) that are found in this region in other eukaryotes. Features that could influence processing at these sites include an imperfect palindrome near site A0 and a sequence near site A' that could potentially base pair with U3 small nucleolar RNA. Our identification of the TIS (verified by mung bean nuclease analysis) is considered tentative because we also detected low-abundance transcripts upstream of this site throughout the entire IGS. This result suggests the possibility of 'read-around' transcription, i.e. transcription that proceeds multiple times around the rDNA circle without termination.
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