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Post-Transcriptional Considerations of Gene Expression: Translation, MRNA Stability, and Poly(A) Processing

  • Gary Brewer

Abstract

Many genes are regulated by switching their transcription on or off. However, the steady-state level of a protein depends not only upon the rate at which the mRNA is synthesized, but also upon the rates at which the mRNA is processed, trans-ported and translated along with the rates at which the mRNA and protein are degraded. Therefore, each of these post-transcriptional processes is linked to “gene expression,” and it is important to know how each contributes to the level or timing of expression of a given protein. The purpose of this review is to describe a number of considerations about post-transcriptional processes when the goal is to express a recombinant protein in a mammalian cell. I hope to demonstrate that achieving optimal synthesis of a recombinant protein might not be as simple as linking a transcriptional promoter to an open reading frame; considerations concerning the effects of RNA splicing, 3′ end formation/polyadenylation, RNA localization, translation and stability of the cytoplasmic mRNA and protein all influence the production of a protein. In keeping with the purpose of this review, specific examples of each type of control will be described. Obviously, the examples will not be exhaustive but rather illustrative. Thus by necessity, the work of many research groups will not be described. Since this review is practical in nature, I will emphasize the cis-acting elements of a gene which control post-transcriptional RNA processing and translation; I will not discuss the trans-acting factors which must interact with the cis-elements to effect post-transcriptional and translational control.

Keywords

Long Terminal Repeat mRNA Stability Internal Ribosome Entry Site Internal Initiation Cytoplasmic mRNA 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Birkhäuser Boston 1994

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  • Gary Brewer

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