During transcription, the nascent pre-mRNA associates with mRNA-binding proteins and undergoes a series of processing steps, resulting in export competent mRNA ribonucleoprotein complexes (mRNPs) that are transported into the cytoplasm. Throughout transcription elongation, RNA polymerases frequently deal with a number of obstacles that need to be removed for transcription resumption. One important type of hindrance consists of helix-distorting DNA lesions. Transcription-coupled repair (TC-NER), a specific sub-pathway of nucleotide excision repair, ensures a fast repair of such transcription-blocking lesions. While the nucleotide excision repair reaction is fairly well understood, its regulation and the way it deals with DNA transcription remains largely unknown. In this review, we update our current understanding of the factors involved in TC-NER and discuss their functional interplay with the processes of transcription elongation and mRNP biogenesis. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: RNA polymerase II Transcript Elongation.
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