Post-transcriptional control of messenger RNA (mRNA) is an important layer of gene regulation that modulates mRNA decay, translation, and localization. Eukaryotic mRNA decay begins with the catalytic removal of the 3′ poly-adenosine tail by deadenylase enzymes. Multiple deadenylases have been identified in vertebrates and are known to have distinct biological roles; among these proteins is Nocturnin, which has been linked to circadian biology, adipogenesis, osteogenesis, and obesity. Multiple studies have investigated Nocturnin’s involvement in these processes; however, a full understanding of its molecular function remains elusive. Recent studies have provided new insights by identifying putative Nocturnin-regulated mRNAs in mice and by determining the structure and regulatory activities of human Nocturnin. This review seeks to integrate these new discoveries into our understanding of Nocturnin’s regulatory functions and highlight the important remaining unanswered questions surrounding its regulation, biochemical activities, protein partners, and target mRNAs.
- RNA decay
- translational control