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Trends Plant Sci. 2009 Aug;14(8):443-53. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2009.05.004. Epub 2009 Jul 18.

Getting the message across: cytoplasmic ribonucleoprotein complexes.

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Center for Plant Cell Biology, Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0124, USA.


mRNA-ribonucleoprotein (mRNP) complexes mediate post-transcriptional control mechanisms in the cell nucleus and cytoplasm. Transcriptional control is paramount to gene expression but is followed by regulated nuclear pre-mRNA maturation and quality control processes that culminate in the export of a functional transcript to the cytoplasm. Once in the cytosol, mRNPs determine the activity of individual mRNAs through regulation of localization, translation, sequestration and turnover. Here, we review how quantitative assessment of mRNAs in distinct cytoplasmic mRNPs, such as polyribosomes (polysomes), has provided new perspectives on post-transcriptional regulation from the global to gene-specific level. In addition, we explore recent genetic and biochemical studies of cytoplasmic mRNPs that have begun to expose RNA-binding proteins in an integrated network that fine-tunes gene expression.

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