A kinetic analysis of the appearance of [3H]uridine label in RNA sequences that neighbor poly(A), as well as the incorporation of [3H]adenosine label into both the RNA chain and the poly(A) of poly(A)-containing molecules, shows that poly(A) is added within a minute or so after RNA chain synthesis in Chinese hamster ovary cells and HeLa cells. Previous conclusions by several groups (5-7) that poly(A) might be added as long as 20-30 min after RNA synthesis appear to be in error, and the present conclusion seems much more in line with several different types of recent studies with specific mRNAs that suggest prompt poly(A) addition (13-16).

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