The characteristics of ribonucleic acid (RNA) degradation in intact reticulocytes have been investigated. The rate of degradation during in vitro maturation at 37°C is approximately 4% per hr. RNA degradation does not proceed at 0°C, and the rate of degradation is temperature dependent with an optimum at 50°C. The process is not dependent upon glycolysis. Although all types of RNA progressively decrease during in vivo maturation, ribosomes are degraded at a rate greater than that of soluble RNA.
Edward R. Burka