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Cell Logist. 2011 Jan;1(1):37-40.

mRNA imprinting: Additional level in the regulation of gene expression.

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  • Department of Molecular Microbiology; Rappaport Faculty of Medicine; Technion-Israel Institute of Technology; Haifa, Israel.


Following its synthesis in the nucleus, mRNA undergoes various stages that are critical for the proper synthesis, localization and possibly functionality of its encoded protein. Recently, we have shown that two RNA polymerase II (Pol II) subunits, Rpb4p and Rpb7p, associate with the nascent transcript co-transcriptionally. This "mRNA imprinting" lasts throughout the mRNA lifetime and is required for proper regulation of all major stages that the mRNA undergoes. Other possible cases of co-transcriptional imprinting are discussed. Since mRNAs can be transported from the synthesizing cell to other cells, we propose that mRNA imprinting can also affect the phenotype of the recipient cells. This can be viewed as "mRNA-based epigenetics."

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