We have demonstrated, by DNA excess filter hybridizations to pulse-labeled cell RNA, that estrogen selectively stabilizes Xenopus liver vitellogenin mRNA against cytoplasmic degradation. The halflife of vitellogenin mRNA is approximately 3 weeks in the presence of estrogen and 16 hr after estrogen is withdrawn from the culture medium. Total poly(A) mRNA exhibits the same half-life (16 hr) in the presence or absence of estrogen. The rapid cytoplasmic degradation of vitellogenin mRNA in the absence of estrogen is fully reversible upon restimulation with estrogen, indicating that nuclear modification of vitellogenin RNA transcripts is not responsible for their stability. Intermediate levels of vitellogenin mRNA stability and changes in the relative rate of vitellogenin gene transcription are not observed late in estrogen induction, when vitellogenin mRNA levels plateau. Instead, Xenopus liver cells achieve fine control over the level of vitellogenin mRNA through down-regulation of the overall rate of total nuclear RNA synthesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)