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Comparison of the effects of zinc deprivation and actinomycin D on ribonucleic acid synthesis by stimulated lymphocytes.

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  • Research Article


1. EDTA inhibited incorporation of [3H]uridine into RNA of lymphocytes, but did not decrease uptake into the cold-acid-soluble fraction of the cells. The inhibition by EDTA was largely reversible by simultaneous addition of Zn2+. 2. Low concentrations pf actinomycin D (3 ng/ml) added at the time of stimulation of the cells inhibited [3H]uridine incorporation into RNA, but concentrations of 50-100 ng/ml were required to produce the same degree of inhibition if addition of actinomycin D was delayed until just before the incorporation was measured. This difference in sensitivity did not reg within the cells. 3. When added immediately before phytohaemagglutinin, actinomycin D (3 ng/ml) and EDTA produced similar time-courses of inhibition of uridine incorporation. 4. Uridine incorporation at 32h was inhibited when actinomycin D (3 ng/ml) or EDTA was added just before stimulation of the cells, but was only slightly affected when they were added at 32h. At intermediate times the incorporation of uridine remained sensitive to addition of EDTA for longer than it was sensitive to actinomycin D. 5. Polyacrylamide-gel separation of RNA synthesized in EDTA-treated cultures in the presence or absence of added Zn2+ showed that lower availability of Zn2+ resulted in a decreased rate of transfer of radioactivity from 32S to 28S rRNA and decreased survival of 28S rRNA relative to 18S rRNA. 6. Close similarities have been shown to exist between the effects of EDTA and low concentrations of actinomycin D. Not all the effects of EDTA could be explained by postulating that Zn2+ was a constituent of RNA polymerase I, nor were the effects of actinomycin D readily explained by previously suggested mechanisms of action of this antibiotic.

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