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RNA Transport

mRNA Localization

The localization of mRNAs within the cytoplasm has been documented in numerous cells, including developing oocytes, neurons, oligodendrocytes, myocytes, and fibroblasts. Since many proteins are translated from a single mRNA, mRNA localization provides an efficient means of partitioning cytosolic proteins. A variety of work suggests that mRNA localization occurs by the following step-wise pathway [1, 2]: 1) formation of RNP particles based upon information provided by the RNA sequence (usually involving elements in the 3'UTR), 2) translational repression of the mRNA, 3) motor-driven transport along cytoskeletal elements, and 4) anchoring of mRNA to the actin-rich cortex and initiation of translation. While many localized mRNAs have been described in higher eukaryotes, the protein components of the core RNP complex and molecular mechanisms for linking the motors to the RNP are poorly understood. Our laboratory has been using yeast and Drosophila as model systems to identify and understand the functions of protein components associated with transported mRNAs

 

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updated 4/9/07


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