Molecular Life Sciences

2018 Edition
| Editors: Robert D. Wells, Judith S. Bond, Judith Klinman, Bettie Sue Siler Masters

RNA Quality Control

  • Angela K. Hilliker
Reference work entry



RNA can accumulate mutations through transcription of mutated DNA, through errors in transcription of wild-type DNA, or through damage to the RNA itself from mutagens. Some mutant or damaged mRNAs cause stalls in translation elongation or termination. Eukaryotic cells have developed several RNA quality control mechanisms that trigger the decay of such mRNAs. Without these surveillance mechanisms, the cell would produce mutant proteins or would lose ribosomes that remained stalled on aberrant transcripts. While this section focuses on quality control of mRNA, mRNA represents a fraction of the RNA in a cell and other RNAs are also subject to quality control.


It has long been appreciated that DNA can be damaged by mutagens and that extensive repair pathways exist to repair damaged DNA. Many of the same agents that damage DNA also damage RNA. RNA is more...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Cole SE, LaRiviere FJ, Merrikh CN, Moore MJ (2009) A convergence of rRNA and mRNA quality control pathways revealed by mechanistic analysis of nonfunctional rRNA decay. Mol Cell 34:440–450PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Parker R (2012) RNA degradation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Genetics 191:671–702PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Wu X, Brewer G (2012) The regulation of mRNA stability in mammalian cells: 2.0. Gene 500:10–21PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of RichmondRichmondUSA