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J Cell Sci. 2007 Aug 1;120(Pt 15):2498-506. Epub 2007 Jul 10.

The mRNA-like noncoding RNA Gomafu constitutes a novel nuclear domain in a subset of neurons.

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Nakagawa Initiative Research Unit, RIKEN, 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako 351-0198, Japan.


Recent transcriptome analyses have revealed that a large body of noncoding regions of mammalian genomes are actually transcribed into RNAs. Our understanding of the molecular features of these noncoding RNAs is far from complete. We have identified a novel mRNA-like noncoding gene, named Gomafu, which is expressed in a distinct set of neurons in the mouse nervous system. Interestingly, spliced mature Gomafu RNA is localized to the nucleus despite its mRNA-like characteristics, which usually act as potent export signals to the cytoplasm. Within the nucleus, Gomafu RNA is detected as numerous spots that do not colocalize with known nuclear domain markers. Gomafu RNA is extremely insoluble and remains intact after nuclear matrix preparation. Furthermore, heterokaryon assays revealed that Gomafu RNA does not shuttle between the nucleus and cytoplasm, but is retained in the nucleus after its transcription. We propose that Gomafu RNA represents a novel family of mRNA-like noncoding RNA that constitutes a cell-type-specific component of the nuclear matrix.

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