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Structure and Molecular Weight of the 60-70S RNA and the 30-40S RNA of the Rous Sarcoma Virus

By Walter F. Mangel, Hajo Delius and Peter H. Duesberg


The structure and molecular weight of the 60-70S RNA complex and the 30-40S RNA species of Rous sarcoma virus were analyzed in an electron microscope after treatment of the RNAs with the bacteriophage T4 gene-32 protein to stretch out the RNA strands. Although all RNA preparations treated with gene-32 protein showed considerable heterogeneity in length, a significant fraction of the RNA retained its original sedimentation coefficient after treatment to allow the following conclusions to be made: The 30-40S RNA was confirmed to be a linear polynucleotide with a molecular weight of about 3 × 10(6). The 60-70S RNA exhibited a network structure with a molecular weight predominantly of about 6 × 10(6). Therefore, the subunit hypothesis for the 60-70S RNA is confirmed. A model for the structure and molecular weight of the 60-70S RNA postulates that the complex consists of two 30-40S RNA subunits held together at many points. This model elucidates the biological observation that the infectivity of RNA tumor viruses is proportional to the amount of 30-40S RNA in a virus preparation and not to the amount of 60-70S RNA

Topics: Biological Sciences: Biochemistry
Year: 1974
DOI identifier: 10.1073/pnas.71.11.4541
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central
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