RNA in pieces

Alex C. Tuck, David Tollervey

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

Abstract

Eukaryotic genomes accommodate numerous types of information within diverse DNA and RNA sequence elements. At many loci, these elements overlap and the same sequence is read multiple times during the production, processing, localization, function and turnover of a single transcript. Moreover, two or more transcripts from the same locus might use a common sequence in different ways, to perform distinct biological roles. Recent results show that many transcripts also undergo post-transcriptional cleavage to release specific fragments, which can then function independently. This phenomenon appears remarkably widespread, with even well-documented transcript classes such as messenger RNAs yielding fragments. RNA fragmentation significantly expands the already extraordinary spectrum of transcripts present within eukaryotic cells, and also calls into question how the 'gene' should be defined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)422-432
Number of pages11
JournalTrends in Genetics
Volume27
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2011

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