The expression of two Xenopus laevis ribosomal protein genes (L1 and L14) has been analysed by microinjection of the cloned genomic sequences into frog oocyte nuclei. While the injection of the L14 gene causes the accumulation of the corresponding protein in large excess with respect to that synthesized endogenously, the L1 gene does not. Analysis of the RNA shows that both genes are actively transcribed. The seven-intron-containing L14 transcript is completely processed to a mature form, while two out of nine intron sequences persist in the L1 transcript. This precursor RNA is confined to the nucleus; its accumulation is due to a specific block of splicing operating at the level of two defined introns and not to saturation of the processing apparatus of the oocyte. The different behaviour of the two genes may reflect different mechanisms of regulation which, in the case of the L1 gene, could operate at the level of splicing. © 1984.
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