An extensive network of coupling among gene expression machines

Nature. 2002 Apr 4;416(6880):499-506. doi: 10.1038/416499a.


Gene expression in eukaryotes requires several multi-component cellular machines. Each machine carries out a separate step in the gene expression pathway, which includes transcription, several pre-messenger RNA processing steps and the export of mature mRNA to the cytoplasm. Recent studies lead to the view that, in contrast to a simple linear assembly line, a complex and extensively coupled network has evolved to coordinate the activities of the gene expression machines. The extensive coupling is consistent with a model in which the machines are tethered to each other to form 'gene expression factories' that maximize the efficiency and specificity of each step in gene expression.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Gene Expression*
  • Models, Genetic
  • Poly A / metabolism
  • RNA Caps
  • RNA Polymerase II / metabolism
  • RNA Precursors / metabolism
  • RNA Splicing
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • RNA Caps
  • RNA Precursors
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Poly A
  • RNA Polymerase II