Sorting mRNA Molecules for Cytoplasmic Transport and Localization

Nathalie Neriec, Piergiorgio Percipalle

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In eukaryotic cells, gene expression is highly regulated at many layers. Nascent RNA molecules are assembled into ribonucleoprotein complexes that are then released into the nucleoplasmic milieu and transferred to the nuclear pore complex for nuclear export. RNAs are then either translated or transported to the cellular periphery. Emerging evidence indicates that RNA-binding proteins play an essential role throughout RNA biogenesis, from the gene to polyribosomes. However, the sorting mechanisms that regulate whether an RNA molecule is immediately translated or sent to specialized locations for translation are unclear. This question is highly relevant during development and differentiation when cells acquire a specific identity. Here, we focus on the RNA-binding properties of heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins (hnRNPs) and how these mechanisms are believed to play an essential role in RNA trafficking in polarized cells. Further, by focusing on the specific hnRNP protein CBF-A/hnRNPab and its naturally occurring isoforms, we propose a model on how hnRNP proteins are capable of regulating gene expression both spatially and temporally throughout the RNA biogenesis pathway, impacting both healthy and diseased cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number510
JournalFrontiers in Genetics
StatePublished - Nov 6 2018


  • G4 quadruplex
  • hnRNP proteins
  • mRNA transport and localization
  • neurons
  • oligodendrocytes
  • protein-RNA binding
  • spermatogenic cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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