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Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2010 Jun;20(3):305-12. doi: 10.1016/j.sbi.2010.03.010. Epub 2010 Apr 24.

Structure and function of nematode RNA-binding proteins.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01605, USA.


RNA-binding proteins are critical effectors of gene expression. They guide mRNA localization, translation, and stability, and potentially play a role in regulating mRNA synthesis. The structural basis for RNA recognition by RNA-binding proteins is the key to understand how they target specific transcripts for regulation. Compared to other metazoans, nematode genomes contain a significant expansion in several RNA-binding protein families, including Pumilio-FBF (PUF), TTP-like zinc finger (TZF), and Argonaute-like (AGO) proteins. Genetic data suggest that individual members of each family have distinct functions, presumably due to sequence variations that alter RNA-binding specificity or protein interaction partners. In this review, we highlight example structures and identify the variable regions that likely contribute to functional divergence in nematodes.

Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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