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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2012 Apr;24(2):202-10. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2012 Jan 23.

An intracellular transmission control protocol: assembly and transport of ribonucleoprotein complexes.

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Developmental Biology Unit, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Meyerhofstrasse 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany.


Initially assumed to be a special feature of highly polarized eukaryotic cells, recent evidence suggests that mRNA localization coupled with local translation is a widespread strategy for spatial restriction of protein synthesis within cells. Genome-wide analyses and live imaging approaches have shed new light on the prevalence and the mechanistic details of this phenomenon. Here we review some of the recent findings that have emerged from research from the RNA localization field, from the birth of mRNAs in the nucleus, to their delivery at specific sites within the cytoplasm.

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