mRNA modifications: Dynamic regulators of gene expression?
Thomas Philipp Hoernes, Alexander Hüttenhofer & Matthias David Erlacher
Pages 760-765 | Received 29 Apr 2016, Accepted 14 Jun 2016, Accepted author version posted online: 28 Jun 2016, Published online: 28 Jun 2016
Download citation http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15476286.2016.1203504
The expression of a gene is a tightly regulated process and is exerted by a myriad of different mechanisms. Recently, RNA modifications located in coding sequences of mRNAs, have been identified as potential regulators of gene expression. N6-methyladenosine (m6A), 5-methylcytosine (m5C), pseudouridine (Ψ) and N1-methyladenosine (m1A) have been found within open reading frames of mRNAs. The presence of these mRNA modifications has been implicated to modulate the fate of an mRNA, ranging from maturation to its translation and even degradation. However, many aspects concerning the biological functions of mRNA modifications remain elusive. Recently, systematic in vitro studies allowed a first glimpse of the direct interplay of mRNA modifications and the efficiency and fidelity of ribosomal translation. It thereby became evident that the effects of mRNA modifications were, astonishingly versatile, depending on the type, position or sequence context. The incorporation of a single modification could either prematurely terminate protein synthesis, reduce the peptide yield or alter the amino acid sequence identity. These results implicate that mRNA modifications are a powerful mechanism to post-transcriptionally regulate gene expression.
KEYWORDS: Gene expression, mRNA modifications, ribosome, translation regulation
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