RNA (cRNA) was synthesized in vitro on a template of rat liver DNA and its hybridization with rat liver DNA was studied by using the nitrocellulose-filter method. Sonication of the DNA diminished its apparent capacity to hybridize with RNA by about 50%. This is not due to cross-linkage of DNA molecules, because it could be shown that less than 2% of the sonicated DNA was cross-linked. The effect is due instead to the small size of the sonicated DNA molecules. Below a single-stranded molecular weight of 5×105 the DNA showed a progressive loss of capacity to hybridize with decrease in molecular weight. Evidence is presented suggesting that the apparently diminished capacity of the DNA to hybridize is due to loss of hybridized DNA from the membrane filters. When cRNA at concentrations of up to 25μg/ml is annealed with sonicated total DNA, an apparent hybridization saturation value is found at which about 2.5% of the DNA is hybridized with RNA. Increasing the cRNA concentration tenfold brought about the hybridization of a second component of the DNA approximately equal in amount to the first. The renaturation of rat liver DNA was studied by measuring the fall in the extinction at 260nm and two different components of renaturation were observed within the reiterated fraction of DNA. By hybridizing cRNA with different fractions of rat DNA the two components of the hybridization curve are shown to correspond to the two components of the renaturation curve. The conclusion is drawn that at a cRNA concentration of 250μg/ml most of the reiterated fraction of rat liver DNA is hybridized after annealing for 16h under standard conditions (0.30m-sodium chloride–30mm-sodium citrate at 65°C). Even with such a high cRNA concentration little or no hybridization of the slowly renaturing DNA fraction occurs. It is suggested that the most highly reiterated DNA component is poorly transcribed in vitro.

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