Over the past few decades, we have learned that eukaryotes have evolved sophisticated means to coordinate the nuclear export of mRNAs with different steps of gene expression. This functional orchestration is important for the maintenance of the efficiency and fidelity of gene expression processes. The TREX (TRanscription-EXport) complex is an evolutionarily conserved multiprotein complex that plays a major role in the functional coupling of different steps during mRNA biogenesis, including mRNA transcription, processing, decay, and nuclear export. Furthermore, recent gene knockout studies in mice have revealed that the metazoan TREX complex is required for cell differentiation and development, likely because this complex regulates the expression of key genes. These newly identified roles for the TREX complex suggest the existence of a relationship between mRNA nuclear biogenesis and more complex cellular processes. This review describes the functional roles of the TREX complex in gene expression and the nuclear export of mRNAs. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Nuclear Transport and RNA Processing.
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