Four major species of single-stranded RNA (38s, 30s, 19s and 10 to 16s) and one double-stranded species of RNA (13s) were found in BHK cells infected with vesicular stomatitis virus. A portion of the 38s and 19s was associated with ribonucleoprotein particles sedimenting at 140s and 80s respectively. Some of the 38s RNA and the 10 to 16s RNA could be isolated from the polyribosome region of fractionated cells. The latter RNA could be fractionated further into at least five (possibly eight) peaks by electrophoresis on polyacrylamide gels. The molecular weight of the RNAs in these peaks ranged from 0.24 to 1.0 × 10. Hybridization studies revealed that the 10 to 16s RNA was complementary to the RNA extracted from purified virion, suggesting that the different sizes represent monocistronic (negative) messengers. A high molecular weight RNA complex was also isolated from virus-infected cells. Denaturation of the complex revealed the constituent strands to consist of 38s, 19s and 10 to 16s RNA. This may be the active transcription complex.


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