The nuclear export of mRNA, in which Mex67-Mtr2 mediates movement of mature transcripts through nuclear pores, represents the culmination of the nuclear portion of the gene expression pathway. Nuclear export is closely integrated with transcription and processing, and is based on forming a messenger ribonucleoprotein (mRNP) export complex in the nucleus that is able to diffuse back and forth through the pores. Directionality is imposed by remodelling of the mRNP in the cytoplasm, thereby removing key transport-related proteins and preventing its return to the nucleus. The nuclear and cytoplasmic steps of this pathway, in which Mex67-Mtr2 and Nab2 are added and removed, are crucial, and both involve remodelling of the mRNP, which is mediated by DEAD-box helicases together with adaptor and accessory proteins. Recent structural and cell biology results provide key information that should enable development of a detailed understanding of this central cellular process at a molecular level.
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