Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Life Sciences

Major Professor

Walter R. Farkas

Committee Members

Daniel C. White, Charles C. Cogdon


The total amount of mRNA recovered from Pb2+-treated rabbits was not significantly influenced by lead but dose-dependent loss of template activity of the poly A+ fraction was observed. These observations lead to the conclusion that the messenger RNA of rabbit reticulocytes exposed to Pb2+ in vivo was damaged and inactivated without extensive depolymerization of the mRNA.

In vitro experiments on the effect of Pb2+ on purified rabbit globin mRNA were also performed. After incubation with Pb2+ at micromolar concentrations, the 7-methyl guanosine cap was removed from the mRNA, while damage to the remainder of the molecule seems to be slight. These data indicate that Pb2+ causes the loss of the template activity of reticulocyte mRNA in vivo by causing a nucleolytic cleavage of the mRNA at or near to the 5' cap.

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Life Sciences Commons