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It has long been observed that human protein-coding genes have a particular distribution of GC-content: the 5' end of these genes has high GC-content while the 3' end has low GC-content. In 2012, it was proposed that this pattern of GC-content could act as an mRNA identity feature that would lead to it being better recognized by the cellular machinery to promote its nuclear export. In contrast, junk RNA, which largely lacks this feature, would be retained in the nucleus and targeted for decay. Now two recent papers have provided evidence that GC-content does promote the nuclear export of many mRNAs in human cells. © 2020 Wiley Periodicals LLC.


Alexander F Palazzo, Yoon Mo Kang. GC-content biases in protein-coding genes act as an "mRNA identity" feature for nuclear export. BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology. 2021 Feb;43(2):e2000197

PMID: 33165929

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