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FEBS Lett. 2010 Jan 21;584(2):413-9. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2009.11.023.

Beyond ribosome rescue: tmRNA and co-translational processes.

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  • 1Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9610, USA.


tmRNA is a unique bi-functional RNA that acts as both a tRNA and an mRNA to enter stalled ribosomes and direct the addition of a peptide tag to the C terminus of nascent polypeptides. Despite a reasonably clear understanding of tmRNA activity, the reason for its absolute conservation throughout the eubacteria is unknown. Although tmRNA plays many physiological roles in different bacterial systems, recent studies suggest a general role for trans-translation in monitoring protein folding and perhaps other co-translational processes. This review will focus on these new hypotheses and the data that support them.

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