RNA polymerase from Escherichia coli was used in conjunction with labeled nucleosides as an autoradiographic reagent to study the availability of template in the chromatin of fixed nuclei and chromosomes Sequential treatments of the tissues with acid and poly-L-lysine were used to compare the effect of these treatments on the availability of template with the previously reported effects on the in situ priming for Escherichia coli DNA polymerase Acid treatment was found to increase the in situ activity of both enzymes, while poly-L-lysine strongly inhibited the in situ reactions mediated by RNA and DNA polymerases. When the DNA polymerase reaction was previously carried out on alcohol-fixed chicken blood smears, leukocyte nuclei primed extensively for DNA synthesis. In contrast, we did not detect incorporation into intact nuclei of any cell type in alcohol-fixed blood smears that were treated with RNA polymerase.

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