Rat-liver parenchymal cells obtained in suspension by a mecahnical method are shown to contain a cell-surface nuclease(s) that rapidly degrades exogenously added total Escherichia coli RNA. However, no acid-soluble products are formed; all the degradation products in the incubation medium sediment in the 4–55 RNA region on a sucrose density gradient. A part of the degraded RNA seems to be taken up by the cells; the uptake of the degradation products, presumably derived from rRNAs, is more than that of purified 4–55 RNA. Most of the RNA taken up by the cell sediments in the 4–55 region; only a small proportion is degraded to acid-soluble material within the cell.

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