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      Global analysis of mRNA decay and abundance in Escherichia coli at single-gene resolution using two-color fluorescent DNA microarrays

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          Abstract

          Much of the information available about factors that affect mRNA decay in Escherichia coli, and by inference in other bacteria, has been gleaned from study of less than 25 of the approximately 4,300 predicted E. coli messages. To investigate these factors more broadly, we examined the half-lives and steady-state abundance of known and predicted E. coli mRNAs at single-gene resolution by using two-color fluorescent DNA microarrays. An rRNA-based strategy for normalization of microarray data was developed to permit quantitation of mRNA decay after transcriptional arrest by rifampicin. We found that globally, mRNA half-lives were similar in nutrient-rich media and defined media in which the generation time was approximately tripled. A wide range of stabilities was observed for individual mRNAs of E. coli, although approximately 80% of all mRNAs had half-lives between 3 and 8 min. Genes having biologically related metabolic functions were commonly observed to have similar stabilities. Whereas the half-lives of a limited number of mRNAs correlated positively with their abundance, we found that overall, increased mRNA stability is not predictive of increased abundance. Neither the density of putative sites of cleavage by RNase E, which is believed to initiate mRNA decay in E. coli, nor the free energy of folding of 5' or 3' untranslated region sequences was predictive of mRNA half-life. Our results identify previously unsuspected features of mRNA decay at a global level and also indicate that generalizations about decay derived from the study of individual gene transcripts may have limited applicability.

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          Most cited references 46

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          Dissecting the regulatory circuitry of a eukaryotic genome.

          Genome-wide expression analysis was used to identify genes whose expression depends on the functions of key components of the transcription initiation machinery in yeast. Components of the RNA polymerase II holoenzyme, the general transcription factor TFIID, and the SAGA chromatin modification complex were found to have roles in expression of distinct sets of genes. The results reveal an unanticipated level of regulation which is superimposed on that due to gene-specific transcription factors, a novel mechanism for coordinate regulation of specific sets of genes when cells encounter limiting nutrients, and evidence that the ultimate targets of signal transduction pathways can be identified within the initiation apparatus.
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            Use of a cDNA microarray to analyse gene expression patterns in human cancer.

            The development and progression of cancer and the experimental reversal of tumorigenicity are accompanied by complex changes in patterns of gene expression. Microarrays of cDNA provide a powerful tool for studying these complex phenomena. The tumorigenic properties of a human melanoma cell line, UACC-903, can be suppressed by introduction of a normal human chromosome 6, resulting in a reduction of growth rate, restoration of contact inhibition, and suppression of both soft agar clonogenicity and tumorigenicity in nude mice. We used a high density microarray of 1,161 DNA elements to search for differences in gene expression associated with tumour suppression in this system. Fluorescent probes for hybridization were derived from two sources of cellular mRNA [UACC-903 and UACC-903(+6)] which were labelled with different fluors to provide a direct and internally controlled comparison of the mRNA levels corresponding to each arrayed gene. The fluorescence signals representing hybridization to each arrayed gene were analysed to determine the relative abundance in the two samples of mRNAs corresponding to each gene. Previously unrecognized alterations in the expression of specific genes provide leads for further investigation of the genetic basis of the tumorigenic phenotype of these cells.
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              Precision and functional specificity in mRNA decay.

              Posttranscriptional processing of mRNA is an integral component of the gene expression program. By using DNA microarrays, we precisely measured the decay of each yeast mRNA, after thermal inactivation of a temperature-sensitive RNA polymerase II. The half-lives varied widely, ranging from approximately 3 min to more than 90 min. We found no simple correlation between mRNA half-lives and ORF size, codon bias, ribosome density, or abundance. However, the decay rates of mRNAs encoding groups of proteins that act together in stoichiometric complexes were generally closely matched, and other evidence pointed to a more general relationship between physiological function and mRNA turnover rates. The results provide strong evidence that precise control of the decay of each mRNA is a fundamental feature of the gene expression program in yeast.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                0027-8424
                1091-6490
                July 23 2002
                July 15 2002
                July 23 2002
                : 99
                : 15
                : 9697-9702
                Article
                10.1073/pnas.112318199
                124983
                12119387
                © 2002
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