SR proteins in vertical integration of gene expression from transcription to RNA processing to translation

Mol Cell. 2009 Jul 10;35(1):1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2009.06.016.


SR proteins have been studied extensively as a family of RNA-binding proteins that participate in both constitutive and regulated pre-mRNA splicing in mammalian cells. However, SR proteins were first discovered as factors that interact with transcriptionally active chromatin. Recent studies have now uncovered properties that connect these once apparently disparate functions, showing that a subset of SR proteins seem to bind directly to the histone 3 tail, play an active role in transcriptional elongation, and colocalize with genes that are engaged in specific intra- and interchromosome interactions for coordinated regulation of gene expression in the nucleus. These transcription-related activities are also coupled with a further expansion of putative functions of specific SR protein family members in RNA metabolism downstream of mRNA splicing, from RNA export to stability control to translation. These findings, therefore, highlight the broader roles of SR proteins in vertical integration of gene expression and provide mechanistic insights into their contributions to genome stability and proper cell-cycle progression in higher eukaryotic cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatin / genetics
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation / genetics*
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Protein Biosynthesis / genetics*
  • RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional*
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Transcription, Genetic / genetics*


  • Chromatin
  • Histones
  • RNA-Binding Proteins