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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2004 Jun;16(3):285-92.

mRNA export: an assembly line from genes to nuclear pores.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology, University of Geneva, Sciences III, 30 Quai E. Ansermet, 1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland.


mRNAs are transported from the nucleus to the cytoplasm by a machinery conserved from yeast to humans. Previous studies showed that mRNA export factors are loaded on nascent mRNAs during elongation, coupling transcription to export. More recently identified mRNA export factors connect transcription initiation to the export machinery associated with nuclear pores, and potentially tether active genes to the nuclear periphery. Furthermore, a newly identified link between the nuclear exosome and the transcription, 3'-end formation and export machineries suggests that early messenger ribonucleoprotein complex (mRNP) assembly is co-transcriptionally monitored. Moreover, inefficient mRNP assembly impairs transcription elongation, indicating tight interdependence of these processes. Finally, nuclear retention of unspliced mRNAs by the perinuclear Mlp proteins reveals a novel mechanism of mRNP surveillance prior to export.

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