mRNA quality control mechanism prevents contamination of cells

Researchers from Centre for mRNP Biogenesis and Metabolism have just disclosed a new quality control mechanism that prevents contamination of cells with aberrant mRNA. This helps us to understand how mRNA quality control can act in a precautionary way to avoid the cellular spreading of toxic molecules.

Curiously, in cells of baker’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) that are mutated for certain such mRNA export factors, mRNA accumulates in close proximity to the gene. This accumulated material (affectionately termed dots) was believed to be dead-end products simply awaiting nuclear degradation. However, by using advanced microscopic techniques to enable the detection of single mRNA molecules – in combination with classical molecular biological methods – PhD student Thomas B. Kallehauge has now revealed a hitherto unknown and unexpected fate of dot mRNA.

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