Mammalian cells coordinately regulate their gene expression programmes to ensure appropriate responses to stimuli. While transcriptional events provide an important level of gene expression regulation, modulation of messenger RNA (mRNA) decay provides an additional critical regulatory step. Much of the current knowledge of regulated mRNA decay comes from investigations of cytokine and other early response genes involved in inflammation and immunity. Recent genome-wide measurements of mRNA decay rates have revealed that a much broader repertoire of cellular transcripts are regulated at the level of mRNA decay, suggesting that mRNA decay plays a major role in regulating cellular function. Coupled with recent advances in understanding how signalling pathways impact on mRNA turnover, the regulation of mRNA decay emerges as an important post-transcriptional mechanism for rapidly regulating gene expression.
- AU-rich elements
- MRNA stability
- Mrna decay
- Post-transcriptional gene regulation