SUMMARY: The effect of ageing on the properties of polysomal poly(A)-containing messenger RNA [poly(A)+ mRNA] of has been investigated. Using poly(U)-Sepharose affinity chromatography it was shown that shortening of the poly (A) tract occurred as the age of the mRNA population increased. Analysis of the poly(A) segments by use of polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, after digestion of polysomal poly(A) + mRNA molecules with RNAase A and RNAase T1, revealed that their lengths ranged from 140 to 220 nucleotide residues. A reduction in the efficiency of utilization of mRNA for translation as the age of the mRNA population increased was demonstrated by measuring the proportion of poly(A)+ mRNA present in the polysomal fraction as compared with post-polysomal material.


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