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Messenger RNA 3' end formation in plants.

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Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546-0312, USA.


Messenger RNA 3' end formation is an integral step in the process that gives rise to mature, translated messenger RNAs in eukaryotes. With this step, a pre-messenger RNA is processed and polyadenylated, giving rise to a mature mRNA bearing the characteristic poly(A) tract. The poly(A) tract is a fundamental feature of mRNAs, participating in the process of translation initiation and being the focus of control mechanisms that define the lifetime of mRNAs. Thus messenger RNA 3' end formation impacts two steps in mRNA biogenesis and function. Moreover, mRNA 3' end formation is something of a bridge that integrates numerous other steps in mRNA biogenesis and function. While the process is essential for the expression of most genes, it is also one that is subject to various forms of regulation, such that both quantitative and qualitative aspects of gene expression may be modulated via the polyadenylation complex. In this review, the current status of understanding of mRNA 3' end formation in plants is discussed. In particular, the nature of mRNA 3' ends in plants is reviewed, as are recent studies that are beginning to yield insight into the functioning and regulation of plant polyadenylation factor subunits.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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