RNA metabolism and protein synthesis in plasma cell leukemia

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      A patient with plasma cell leukemia was found to have Bence Jones proteinemia and Bence Jones proteinuria.
      Peripheral blood plasma cell suspensions incorporated C14-uridine into RNA and C14-leucine into protein, including Bence Jones protein. Approximately 81 per cent of the newly-formed RNA was unstable, and was destroyed with a half-life of about 42 minutes. This RNA may represent messenger RNA or unstable nuclear RNA. Inhibition of RNA synthesis by actinomycin D was followed by a marked and progressive decline in the rate of protein synthesis. Secretion of Bence Jones protein lagged 2 hours behind protein synthesis.
      These data demonstrate production of an immunoglobulin by leukemic plasma cells, selective secretion of Bence Jones protein and instability of messenger RNA's, including specific Bence Jones messengers. The leukemic plasma cells, like normal plasma cells, require continuing gene action (RNA synthesis) to support growth and differentiation.
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