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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2010 Jul;11(7):467-78. doi: 10.1038/nrm2917. Epub 2010 Jun 3.

All things must pass: contrasts and commonalities in eukaryotic and bacterial mRNA decay.

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Kimmel Center for Biology and Medicine at the Skirball Institute and Department of Microbiology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, 10016, USA.


Despite its universal importance for controlling gene expression, mRNA degradation was initially thought to occur by disparate mechanisms in eukaryotes and bacteria. This conclusion was based on differences in the structures used by these organisms to protect mRNA termini and in the RNases and modifying enzymes originally implicated in mRNA decay. Subsequent discoveries have identified several striking parallels between the cellular factors and molecular events that govern mRNA degradation in these two kingdoms of life. Nevertheless, some key distinctions remain, the most fundamental of which may be related to the different mechanisms by which eukaryotes and bacteria control translation initiation.

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