Processing of the intron-containing thymidylate synthase (td) gene of phage T4 is at the RNA level

Marlene Belfort, Joan Pedersen-Lane, Deborah West, Karen Ehrenman, Gladys Maley, Frederick Chu, Frank Maley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The interrupted T4 phage td gene, which encodes thymidylate synthase, is the first known example of an intron-containing prokaryotic structural gene. Analysis of td-encoded transcripts provides evidence in favor of maturation at the RNA level. Northern blotting with T4 RNA and with region-specific probes revealed three classes of RNA: diffuse premessages (ca. 2.5 kb), a low-abundance mature mRNA (ca. 1.3 kb), and an abundant free intron RNA (ca. 1.0 kb). The existence of covalently joined mature mRNA was suggested by hybridization and S1 protection experiments and was confirmed by primer extension analysis of the splice junction. In analogy to expression of interrupted eukaryotic genes, these results are consistent with an RNA processing model that would account for the direct gene transcript serving as precursor for both free intron RNA and a spliced mRNA that is colinear with the thymidylate synthase product.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-382
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Processing of the intron-containing thymidylate synthase (td) gene of phage T4 is at the RNA level'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this