Investigations of the structure of polyadenylic acid [poly(A)] in yeast have shown that there are two classes of poly(A) distinguished by size and kinetics of synthesis. Each class is found directly on the 3' end of messenger RNA. One class contains poly(A) molecules ranging from 60 to less than 20 nucleotides long. The longest molecules in this poly(A) class are the first to become labeled when cells are exposed to [3H]adenine. Label then appears in progressively smaller molecules. The second class of poly(A) is about 20 nucleotides long. The length homogeneity of this class and the presence in nuclear DNA of many copies of a polythymidylate sequence which is the same length suggests that this poly(A) is synthesized by transcription from DNA
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