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Wiley Interdiscip Rev RNA. 2011 Jul-Aug;2(4):582-600. doi: 10.1002/wrna.78. Epub 2011 Feb 10.

Mechanisms of endonuclease-mediated mRNA decay.

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  • Center for RNA Biology and Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA. schoenberg.3@osu.edu


Endonuclease cleavage was one of the first identified mechanisms of mRNA decay but until recently it was thought to play a minor role to the better-known processes of deadenylation, decapping, and exonuclease-catalyzed decay. Most of the early examples of endonuclease decay came from studies of a particular mRNA whose turnover changed in response to hormone, cytokine, developmental, or nutritional stimuli. Only a few of these examples of endonuclease-mediated mRNA decay progressed to the point where the enzyme responsible for the initiating event was identified and studied in detail. The discovery of microRNAs and RISC-catalyzed endonuclease cleavage followed by the identification of PIN (pilT N-terminal) domains that impart endonuclease activity to a number of the proteins involved in mRNA decay has led to a resurgence of interest in endonuclease-mediated mRNA decay. PIN domains show no substrate selectivity and their involvement in a number of decay pathways highlights a recurring theme that the context in which an endonuclease function is a primary factor in determining whether any given mRNA will be targeted for decay by this or the default exonuclease-mediated decay processes.

Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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