A near-upstream element in a plant polyadenylation signal consists of more than six nucleotides

Qingshun Li, Arthur G. Hunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


A plant polyadenylation signal consists of three distinct components: a far-upstream element (FUE) that can control utilization of several polyadenylation sites, one or more near-upstream elements (NUEs) that control utilization of each site in a transcription unit, and polyadenylation site (CSs) themselves. NUEs have previously been suggested to be related to the mammalian polyadenylation signal AAUAAA. However, many plant genes do not contain AAUAAA-like motifs near their polyadenylation sites. To better understand the nature of NUEs, we conducted a systematic analysis of the NUE for one polyadenylation site (site 1) in the pea rbcS-E9 gene; this NUE lacks an AAUAAA motif. Linker substitution studies showed that the NUE for site 1 in this gene resides in the sequence AAAUGGAAA. Single-nucleotide substitutions in this domain had modest effects on the functioning of this NUE. Replacement of part of this sequence with the sequence AAUAAA increased the efficiency of this NUE. However, alteration of nucleotides immediately 3′ of the AAUAAA reversed this effect. Our results indicate that the NUE for site 1 consists of as many as 9 nucleotides, that these 9 bases do not include an element that is intolerant of single base changes, that the sequence AAUAAA can function as a NUE for site 1, and that sequences flanking AAUAAA can affect the efficiency of functioning as a NUE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)927-934
Number of pages8
JournalPlant Molecular Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 1995


  • polyadenylation signals
  • RNA processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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