Cell Biology

Embodied RNA

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Science  03 Apr 2009:
Vol. 324, Issue 5923, pp. 15
DOI: 10.1126/science.324.5923.15d

More than half of the RNA transcribed from the genome is not translated into protein. A few of the larger noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) have been found to regulate specific processes such as the silencing of the inactive × chromosome, whereas other ncRNAs may be involved in compartmentalized functions. Paraspeckles are intranuclear bodies that were identified 7 years ago and were predicted to function in mRNA processing as they contain proteins that bind DNA and RNA. Clemson et al. find that NEAT1, a 4-kb ncRNA, participates in nuclear compartmentalization by forming and maintaining paraspeckles. NEAT1 RNA localized to paraspeckles in both human and mouse cells and bound to other paraspeckle proteins such as PSP1. Paraspeckles formed at the sites of NEAT1 transcription, and cells depleted of NEAT1 contained no paraspeckles. — HP*

Mol. Cell 33, 10.1016/j.molcel.2009.01.026 (2009).

  • * Helen Pickersgill is a locum editor in Science's editorial department.

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