The cap-to-tail guide to mRNA turnover

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2001 Apr;2(4):237-46. doi: 10.1038/35067025.


The levels of cellular messenger RNA transcripts can be regulated by controlling the rate at which the mRNA decays. Because decay rates affect the expression of specific genes, they provide a cell with flexibility in effecting rapid change. Moreover, many clinically relevant mRNAs--including several encoding cytokines, growth factors and proto-oncogenes--are regulated by differential RNA stability. But what are the sequence elements and factors that control the half-lives of mRNAs?

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Half-Life
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Poly A / genetics
  • Poly A / metabolism*
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • RNA Caps / genetics
  • RNA Caps / metabolism*
  • RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional*
  • RNA Stability*


  • RNA Caps
  • Poly A