The proper processing, export, localization, translation, and degradation of mRNAs are necessary for regulation of gene expression. These processes are controlled by mRNA-specific regulatory proteins, noncoding RNAs, and core machineries common to most mRNAs. These factors bind the mRNA in large complexes known as messenger ribonucleoprotein particles (mRNPs). Herein, we review the components of mRNPs, how they assemble and rearrange, and how mRNP composition differentially affects mRNA biogenesis, function, and degradation. We also describe how properties of the mRNP "interactome" lead to emergent principles affecting the control of gene expression.
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