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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2005 Dec;8(6):606-12. Epub 2005 Sep 21.

Viroid trafficking: a small RNA makes a big move.

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  • 1Department of Plant Cellular and Molecular Biology and Plant Biotechnology Center, 207 Rightmire Hall, The Ohio State University, 1060 Carmack Road, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA.


RNA trafficking has broad implications in the systemic spread of infectious agents, plant defense, and the systemic regulation of gene expression. The mechanisms that regulate trafficking remain poorly understood. The non-coding, infectious viroid RNAs are emerging as highly tractable model systems for the investigation of the basic mechanisms of RNA trafficking. Recent studies on viroids have led to new insights into the direct role of RNAs in intracellular and systemic trafficking, and to the identification of cellular proteins that might play a role in RNA trafficking. Here, we discuss these areas of progress, emphasizing on the unifying principles that control the trafficking of viroid, viral and endogenous RNAs.

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