Home » Key Scientific Articles » Reflections on the history of pre-mRNA processing and highlights of current knowledge: a unified picture.

Reflections on the history of pre-mRNA processing and highlights of current knowledge: a unified picture.

Darnell JE Jr.

RNA. 2013 Apr;19(4):443-60.

Laboratory of Molecular Cell Biology, Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10065, USA. [email protected].

 

Abstract

Several strong conclusions emerge concerning pre-mRNA processing from both old and newer experiments. The RNAPII complex is involved with pre-mRNA processing through binding of processing proteins to the CTD (carboxyl terminal domain) of the largest RNAPII subunit. These interactions are necessary for efficient processing, but whether factor binding to the CTD and delivery to splicing sites is obligatory or facilitatory is unsettled. Capping, addition of an m(7)Gppp residue (cap) to the initial transcribed residue of a pre-mRNA, occurs within seconds. Splicing of pre-mRNA by spliceosomes at particular sites is most likely committed during transcription by the binding of initiating processing factors and ∼50% of the time is completed in mammalian cells before completion of the primary transcript. This fact has led to an outpouring in the literature about “cotranscriptional splicing.” However splicing requires several minutes for completion and can take longer. The RNAPII complex moves through very long introns and also through regions dense with alternating exons and introns at an average rate of ∼3 kb per min and is, therefore, not likely detained at each splice site for more than a few seconds, if at all. Cleavage of the primary transcript at the 3′ end and polyadenylation occurs within 30 sec or less at recognized polyA sites, and the majority of newly polyadenylated pre-mRNA molecules are much larger than the average mRNA. Finally, it seems quite likely that the nascent RNA most often remains associated with the chromosomal locus being transcribed until processing is complete, possibly acquiring factors related to the transport of the new mRNA to the cytoplasm.

 

 

Go To PubMed