The distribution of RNA in cells of E. coli 15 T-U- labeled with uridine-H3 was studied by methods involving the analysis of radioautographic grain counts over random thin cross-sections and serial sections of the cells. The results were correlated with electron microscope morphological data. Fractionation and enzyme digestion studies showed that a large proportion of the label was found in RNA uracil and cytosine, the rest being incorporated as DNA cytosine. In fully labeled cells the distribution of label was found to be uniform throughout the cell. The situation remained unchanged when labeled cells were subsequently treated with chloramphenicol. When short pulses of label were employed a localization of a large proportion of the radioactivity became apparent. The nuclear region was identified as the site of concentration. Similar results were obtained when cells were exposed to much longer pulses of uridine-H3 in the presence of chloramphenicol. If cells were subjected to a short pulse of cytidine-H3, then allowed to grow for a while in unlabeled medium, the label, originally concentrated to some extent in the nuclear region, was found dispersed throughout the cell. The simplest hypothesis which accounts for these results is that a large fraction of the cell RNA is synthesized in a region in or near the nucleus and subsequently transferred to the cytoplasm.

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