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Wiley Interdiscip Rev RNA. 2011 Sep-Oct;2(5):686-99. doi: 10.1002/wrna.85. Epub 2011 Apr 21.

Emerging roles for the Ro 60-kDa autoantigen in noncoding RNA metabolism.

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Department of Cell Biology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.


All cells contain an enormous variety of ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes that function in diverse processes. Although the mechanisms by which many of these RNPs contribute to cell metabolism are well understood, the roles of others are only now beginning to be revealed. A member of this latter category, the Ro 60-kDa protein and its associated noncoding Y RNAs, was discovered because the protein component is a frequent target of the autoimmune response in patients with the rheumatic diseases systemic lupus erythematosus and Sjögren's syndrome. Recent studies have shown that Ro is ring shaped, binds the single-stranded ends of misfolded noncoding RNAs in its central cavity, and may function in noncoding RNA quality control. Although Ro is not present in yeast, many bacterial genomes contain potential Ro orthologs. In the radiation-resistant eubacterium Deinococcus radiodurans, the Ro ortholog functions with exoribonucleases during stress-induced changes in RNA metabolism. Moreover, in both D. radiodurans and animal cells, Ro is involved in the response to multiple types of environmental stress. Finally, Y RNAs can influence the subcellular location of Ro, inhibit access of the central cavity to other RNAs, and may also act as binding sites for proteins that influence Ro function. WIREs RNA 2011 2 686-699 DOI: 10.1002/wrna.85 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.

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