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Trends Cell Biol. 1998 Aug;8(8):318-23.

Gene regulation by Y-box proteins: coupling control of transcription and translation.

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  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Embryology, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892-5431, USA.


Y-box proteins are multifunctional regulators of gene expression. In somatic cells, they have the capacity to exert positive and negative effects on both transcription and translation. In Xenopus oocytes, they help to mask maternal mRNA and couple the transcription of mRNA in the nucleus to its translational fate in the cytoplasm. This review describes how the capacity of the Y-box proteins to destabilize both RNA and DNA duplexes, together with their distribution between nuclear and cytoplasmic compartments, might explain these multiple roles.

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