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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2005 Jun;17(3):326-31.

RNA decapping inside and outside of processing bodies.

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  • 1Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80309, USA.


Decapping is a central step in eukaryotic mRNA turnover. Recent studies have identified several factors involved in catalysis and regulation of decapping. These include the following: an mRNA decapping complex containing the proteins Dcp1 and Dcp2; a nucleolar decapping enzyme, X29, involved in the degradation of U8 snoRNA and perhaps of other capped nuclear RNAs; and a decapping 'scavenger' enzyme, DcpS, that hydrolyzes the cap structure resulting from complete 3'-to-5' degradation of mRNAs by the exosome. Several proteins that stimulate mRNA decapping by the Dcp1:Dcp2 complex co-localize with Dcp1 and Dcp2, together with Xrn1, a 5'-to-3' exonuclease, to structures in the cytoplasm called processing bodies. Recent evidence suggests that the processing bodies may constitute specialized cellular compartments of mRNA turnover, which suggests that mRNA and protein localization may be integral to mRNA decay.

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