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J Cell Biol. 2006 Apr 24;173(2):159-63.

CAR-1 and trailer hitch: driving mRNP granule function at the ER?

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Arizona, Tucson, 85721, USA.


The targeting of messenger RNAs (mRNAs) to specific subcellular sites for local translation plays an important role in diverse cellular and developmental processes in eukaryotes, including axis formation, cell fate determination, spindle pole regulation, cell motility, and neuronal synaptic plasticity. Recently, a new conserved class of Lsm proteins, the Scd6 family, has been implicated in controlling mRNA function. Depletion or mutation of members of the Scd6 family, Caenorhabditis elegans CAR-1 and Drosophila melanogaster trailer hitch, lead to a variety of developmental phenotypes, which in some cases can be linked to alterations in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Scd6/Lsm proteins are RNA binding proteins and are found in RNP complexes associated with translational control of mRNAs, and these complexes can colocalize with the ER. These findings raise the possibility that localization and translational regulation of mRNAs at the ER plays a role in controlling the organization of this organelle.

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