After pulse exposure to concentrations of actinomycin D (AMD) sufficient to abolish transcription, Vero cells recover RNA synthesis much more rapidly than most other cell types. This is only in part attributable to the remarkable capacity of Vero very promptly to excrete bound AMD, elimination of which, although necessary, is not a sufficient condition for resurgence of RNA synthesis. After elimination of higher concentrations of AMD from Vero, although over-all RNA synthesis resumes a normal rate within 24 hr, protein synthesis lags, and a long period of division-delay ensues. Division-delay lasting 2–3 days results from exposure of Vero to doses of AMD greater than those that suppress RNA synthesis by greater than 90% (e.g. 1 µg/ml for 2 hr) but not by lower doses, which permit almost immediate reentry into the cell cycle. In contrast, although L cells recover over-all RNA synthesis very slowly after pulse treatment with AMD, resumption of protein synthesis or cell division is not comparably delayed thereafter. These and other data suggest that the early restoration of RNA synthesis in Vero after relief of inhibition by AMD is qualitatively imperfect. The results reported herein are explainable by the hypothesis that the synthesis of those species of RNA which are involved, directly or indirectly, in reactivating the transcription of genes controlling progression in the cell cycle is relatively resistant to suppression by AMD. Decay of such RNA templates and their products, which differs in different cell types during inhibition by AMD, determines the duration of division-delay.

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