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Characterization of RNAs That Do and Do Not Migrate between Cytoplasm and Nucleus*

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  • Biological Sciences: Biochemistry
  • Medicine


We have investigated the nature of the RNA that moves from cytoplasm to nucleus against a concentration gradient in Amoeba proteus. We find that: In the presence of actinomycin D an unlabeled nucleus grafted into a [3H]RNA cytoplasm acquires RNAs with sedimentation constants 30 S, 19 S, and 4-6S that are not related to the general population of cytoplasmic ribosomal and transfer RNAs. RNAs of sedimentation constants 39 S and 16 S may also enter the nucleus from the cytoplasm, but not in the presence of actinomycin D. Nuclei were transplanted from [3H]RNA cells through several unlabeled cytoplasms to dilute out migrating [3H]RNA. This resulted in the 4-6 S [3H]RNA being retained as the predominant labeled material of the nucleus and establishes that a substantial portion of 4-6S nuclear RNA does not leave the interphase nucleus. We conclude that nuclear RNAs may be classified in a new way: (1) RNA that is to become cytoplasmic RNA and presumably moves only from nucleus to cytoplasm; (2) RNA that migrates back and forth between nucleus and cytoplasm; and (3) RNA that does not leave the nucleus during interphase.

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