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Updated: Dec 1 2021

RNA Processing

  • Overview
    • Only in eukaryotes
      • pre-processed transcript = hnRNA
    • Process
      • capping
        • 5' end
          • 7-methylguanosine cap
          • occurs before transcription has finished
          • functions to help in ribosomal binding
            • also protects against degradation
        • 3' end
          • polyadenylated (poly-A) tail
          • added by poly-A-polymerase
          • functions to protect from degradation
        • some viruses can steal host cell caps so that the viral mRNA gets translated
      • splicing
        • process of intron removal
        • mediated by the spliceosome composed of small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs)
          • lariat is formed
          • adjacent exons are attached
      • alternative splicing
        • one hnRNA can be spliced differently to produce different protein products
        • this requires conserved sequences including
          • GU at the beginning of the intron
          • AG at the end of the intron
        • mutations that create new splice sites (AG) in the middle of the intron can lead to
          • abberant splicing that creates new nonfunctional proteins
          • longer proteins than the wildtype variant
    • Location
      • occurs in nucleus after transcription
      • only processed RNA is transported out of the nucleus
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