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Analysis of transcripts of the major cluster of tRNA genes in the mitochondrial genome of S. cerevisiae.

The transcripts of a 6Kbp region of the mitochondrial genome of S. cerevisiae, localized in the 21S rRNA-OXI1 span and including 12 tRNA genes (from tRNA(thr) to tRNA(ala)) and several G+C clusters, have been studied by analysis of in vitro capped primary transcripts and by fine mapping of the 5' ends of transcripts. The study was performed in the w.t. strain D273-10B and in several rho- mutants retaining different, partially overlapping portions of the studied region; the mutants accumulate incompletely-processed precursors of tRNAs due to the absence of the tRNA synthesis locus. Results show the presence in the region of four sites at which initiation occurs at a consensus nonanucleotide ATTATAAGTA (or a minor variant of the same); however different initiation sites are used in different strains, and several differences as compared to initiation in vitro can also be observed. Termini arising by processing are often localized at AATATAA or AATATATTTT sequences localized immediately adjacent to a G+C cluster or a tRNA sequence.