mRNA transport meets membrane traffic

Trends Genet. 2014 Sep;30(9):408-17. doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2014.07.002. Epub 2014 Aug 7.


Active transport and local translation of mRNAs ensure the appropriate spatial organization of proteins within cells. Recent work has shown that this process is intricately connected to membrane trafficking. Here, we focus on new findings obtained in fungal model systems. Important highlights are that RNA-binding proteins recognize cargo mRNA synergistically and that mRNAs are co-transported with membranous compartments such as the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and endosomes. We further discuss a novel concept of endosome-coupled translation that loads shuttling endosomes with septin cargo, a process important for correct septin filamentation. Interestingly, evidence is accumulating that RNA and membrane trafficking are also tightly interwoven in higher eukaryotes, suggesting that this phenomenon is a common theme and not an exception restricted to fungi.

Keywords: actin; endoplasmic reticulum; endosomes; mRNP; microtubule; septin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*


  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA-Binding Proteins