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Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci. 2009;90:155-85. doi: 10.1016/S1877-1173(09)90004-7. Epub 2009 Oct 27.

Regulation of translation by stress granules and processing bodies.

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Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Stress necessitates rapid reprogramming of translation in order to facilitate an adaptive response and promote survival. Cytoplasmic stress granules (SGs) and processing bodies (PBs) are dynamic structures that form in response to stress-induced translational arrest. PBs are linked to mRNA silencing and decay, while SGs are more closely linked to translation and the sorting of specific mRNAs for different fates. While they share some components and can interact physically, SGs and PBs are regulated independently, house separate functions, and contain unique markers. SG formation is associated with numerous disease states, and the expanding list of SG-associated proteins integrates SG formation with other processes such as transcription, splicing, and survival. Growing evidence suggests that SG assembly is initiated by translational arrest, and mediates cross talk with many other signaling pathways.

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