Differential hybridization to a cDNA library made from the mRNA of differentiating mouse erythroleukemia (MEL) cells has been used to identify sequences that are induced during the early stages of MEL cell differentiation. One of the differentially expressed genes identified encodes the H3.3 histone subtype. We show here that the three polyadenylated mRNAs produced from the H3.3B gene, as well as the single mRNA produced from the related H3.3A gene, are coordinated induced during the first few hours of MEL cell differentiation and subsequently down regulated as cells undergo terminal differentiation. Nuclear run-on transcription experiments Indicate that the accumulation and decay of these mRNAs are controlled at the post-transcriptional level. Unlike the polyadenylated mRNAs of two H1 histone genes that exhibit similar kinetics of induction and decay controlled by c-myc, induction of the H3.3 mRNAs is unaffected by deregulated expression of c-myc.
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