B. Ray, D. Apirion
Mar 1, 1981
European journal of biochemistry
A temperature-sensitive Escherichia coli mutant, which contains a heat-labile RNase E, fails to produce 5-S rRNA at a non-permissive temperature. It accumulates a number of RNA molecules in the 4-12-S range. One of these molecules, a 9-S RNA, is a precursor to 5-S rRNA [Ghora, B. K. and Apirion, D. (1978) Cell, 15, 1055-1056]. These molecules were purified and processed in a cell-free system. Some of these RNA molecules, after processing, give rise to products the size of transfer RNA, but not to 5-S-rRNA. Further characterization of the processed products of one such precursor molecule shows that it contains tRNA1Leu and tRNA1His. RNase E is necessary but not sufficient for the processing of this molecule to mature tRNAs in vitro. The accumulation of such tRNA precursors in an RNase E mutant cell and the obligatory participation of RNase E in its processing indicate that RNase E functions in the maturation of transfer RNAs as well as of 5-S rRNA.