Metazoan histone mRNAs are unique in that they lack a 3′-polyadenylated tail, but instead end in a conserved stem loop that is bound by SLBP (stem–loop binding protein). SLBP is required for efficient histone mRNA synthesis and translation. Removal of SLBP by RNA interference causes an increase in the number of cells in S-phase and this effect can be reversed by expressing an exogenous SLBP resistant to the small interfering RNA. Cells with decreased SLBP levels progress slowly through S-phase when released from a double-thymidine block. Thus SLBP is required for efficient DNA replication probably because a decreased ability to assemble chromatin results in a decrease in the rate of DNA replication.

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