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Regulatory Elements in RNA

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Regulation of gene expression in eukaryotes depends as much on regulatory elements encoded in RNA transcripts as it does on regulatory elements in the DNA that regulate transcription. Regulatory elements in RNA can play a wide variety of roles in the control of diverse processes including translation, ...

Regulation of gene expression in eukaryotes depends as much on regulatory elements encoded in RNA transcripts as it does on regulatory elements in the DNA that regulate transcription. Regulatory elements in RNA can play a wide variety of roles in the control of diverse processes including translation, alternative splicing, RNA stability and degradation, and RNA localization and trafficking.

Regulatory elements may occur throughout transcripts, including 5' and 3' untranslated regions (UTRs), protein coding sequences, exons, and introns. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) can bind to complementary sequences in mRNAs and guide cleavage or block translation. Riboswitches are RNA structures that can sense metabolites and control translation, RNA stability or alternative splicing. Alternative splicing can increase the diversity of proteins encoded by a single gene, control the timing of translation by intron retention, mediate differential targeting to different subcellular compartments by determining alternative N-termini of an encoded protein, or control the levels functional transcripts through regulated unproductive splicing and translation (RUST). Upstream ATG codons and upstream open reading frames (uORFs) may control translation initiation at downstream ATG codons. A variety of different elements in RNA can determine RNA stability and degradation and these elements may potentially be located in any region of the RNA molecule. Furthermore, many RNA molecules contain sequences that mediate their subcellular localization, as well as intercellular trafficking.

We welcome all types of articles on the subject of Regulatory Elements in RNA, from defining their nature and investigating their evolution to understanding their mechanisms of action, including the roles of proteins that mediate these mechanisms.


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