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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2004 Feb;5(2):89-99.

Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay: splicing, translation and mRNP dynamics.

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Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, School of Medicine and Dentistry, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Box 712, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York 14642, USA.


Studies of nonsense-mediated mRNA decay in mammalian cells have proffered unforeseen insights into changes in mRNA-protein interactions throughout the lifetime of an mRNA. Remarkably, mRNA acquires a complex of proteins at each exon-exon junction during pre-mRNA splicing that influences the subsequent steps of mRNA translation and nonsense-mediated mRNA decay. Complex-loaded mRNA is thought to undergo a pioneer round of translation when still bound by cap-binding proteins CBP80 and CBP20 and poly(A)-binding protein 2. The acquisition and loss of mRNA-associated proteins accompanies the transition from the pioneer round to subsequent rounds of translation, and from translational competence to substrate for nonsense-mediated mRNA decay.

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