Ratios of α-to β-globin mRNA and regulation of globin synthesis in reticulocytes

J. A. Phillips, P. G. Snyder, H. H. Kazazian

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12 Scopus citations


THE genomes of several mammalian species contain at least two α globin loci and a single β globin locus so that the ratio of α- to β-globin genes is 2 : 1 or more1-3. Despite this difference in number of genes, reticulocytes from these species synthesise equal numbers of α- and β-globin chains indicating that compensatory regulation must occur. Cytoplasmic mRNA is an intermediate between the gene and globin protein, and it has been suggested that the cellular α/β mRNA ratio is an important factor in achieving balanced globin synthesis4-6. We report here an excess of 30% α mRNA on reticulocyte polysomes of rabbits, mice, and sheep. Our data also illustrate the potential for errors in studies in which only poly(A)+ RNA is assayed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-445
Number of pages4
Issue number5627
StatePublished - Dec 1 1977

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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