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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2001 Apr;2(4):237-46.

The cap-to-tail guide to mRNA turnover.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School-UMDNJ, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854, USA.


The levels of cellular messenger RNA transcripts can be regulated by controlling the rate at which the mRNA decays. Because decay rates affect the expression of specific genes, they provide a cell with flexibility in effecting rapid change. Moreover, many clinically relevant mRNAs--including several encoding cytokines, growth factors and proto-oncogenes--are regulated by differential RNA stability. But what are the sequence elements and factors that control the half-lives of mRNAs?

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