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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2014 Jul;71(13):2451-65. doi: 10.1007/s00018-014-1562-y. Epub 2014 Feb 5.

Regulatory mechanisms of RNA function: emerging roles of DNA repair enzymes.

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Division of Medicine, Department of Clinical Molecular Biology, Akershus University Hospital, Nordbyhagen, 1478, Lørenskog, Norway.


The acquisition of an appropriate set of chemical modifications is required in order to establish correct structure of RNA molecules, and essential for their function. Modification of RNA bases affects RNA maturation, RNA processing, RNA quality control, and protein translation. Some RNA modifications are directly involved in the regulation of these processes. RNA epigenetics is emerging as a mechanism to achieve dynamic regulation of RNA function. Other modifications may prevent or be a signal for degradation. All types of RNA species are subject to processing or degradation, and numerous cellular mechanisms are involved. Unexpectedly, several studies during the last decade have established a connection between DNA and RNA surveillance mechanisms in eukaryotes. Several proteins that respond to DNA damage, either to process or to signal the presence of damaged DNA, have been shown to participate in RNA quality control, turnover or processing. Some enzymes that repair DNA damage may also process modified RNA substrates. In this review, we give an overview of the DNA repair proteins that function in RNA metabolism. We also discuss the roles of two base excision repair enzymes, SMUG1 and APE1, in RNA quality control.

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