3′-End Cleavage and polyadenylation of nuclear Messenger RNA Precursors

  • Walter Keller
Part of the Molecular Biology Intelligence Unit book series (MBIU)


In mammalian and probably all other eukaryotic cells, the 3′-ends of messenger RNAs are generated by post-transcriptional processing of longer precursors (reviewed in refs. 1–4). The pre-mRNA is first cleaved endonucleolytically downstream of the coding and the 3′-untranslated region. The upstream cleavage product then receives a poly(A) tail of 200–250 nucleotides. The two steps of the 3′-processing reaction are tightly coupled and take place in the cell nucleus. After the mRNA is transported to the cytoplasm the poly(A) tail is gradually shortened throughout the lifetime of the RNA. Poly(A) tail shortening usually precedes the degradation of the rest of the molecule (reviewed in refs. 5–7). The only known exception to this pathway is the 3′-end formation occurring on precursors to the mRNAs coding for the major histones in metazoan cells (reviewed in ref. 8). In these pre-mRNAs the mature 3′-ends are generated by an endonucleolytic cleavage, the specificity of which is determined by base pairing between a conserved sequence in the pre-mRNA and the 5′-end of the RNA moiety of the U7 snRNP. The processed histone mRNAs do not receive a poly(A) tail.


Transcription Termination Cleavage Factor Pause Site Polyadenylation Factor HeLa Cell Nuclear Extract 
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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Copyright information

© R.G. Landes Company and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Walter Keller

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