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A tale of non-canonical tails: gene regulation by post-transcriptional RNA tailing

Cited 68 time in Web of Science Cited 69 time in Scopus

Yu, Sha; Kim, V. Narry

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Nature Publishing Group
Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology, Vol.21 No.9, pp.542-556
RNA tailing, or the addition of non-templated nucleotides to the 3 ' end of RNA, is the most frequent and conserved type of RNA modification. The addition of tails and their composition reflect RNA maturation stages and have important roles in determining the fate of the modified RNAs. Apart from canonical poly(A) polymerases, which add poly(A) tails to mRNAs in a transcription-coupled manner, a family of terminal nucleotidyltransferases (TENTs), including terminal uridylyltransferases (TUTs), modify RNAs post-transcriptionally to control RNA stability and activity. The human genome encodes 11 different TENTs with distinct substrate specificity, intracellular localization and tissue distribution. In this Review, we discuss recent advances in our understanding of non-canonical RNA tails, with a focus on the functions of human TENTs, which include uridylation, mixed tailing and post-transcriptional polyadenylation of mRNAs, microRNAs and other types of non-coding RNA. The non-canonical addition of non-templated nucleotides to RNA 3 ' ends (tailing) by terminal nucleotidyltransferases includes uridylation, mixed-nucleotide tailing and post-transcriptional polyadenylation. Recent studies of human terminal nucleotidyltransferases have revealed their distinct specificities for substrates, including mRNAs, microRNAs and other non-coding RNAs, and how they control RNA stability and activity.
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Research Area Molecular Biology & Genetics


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