The exon junction complex as a node of post-transcriptional networks

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2016 Jan;17(1):41-54. doi: 10.1038/nrm.2015.7. Epub 2015 Dec 16.


The exon junction complex (EJC) is deposited onto mRNAs following splicing and adopts a unique structure, which can both stably bind to mRNAs and function as an anchor for diverse processing factors. Recent findings revealed that in addition to its established roles in nonsense-mediated mRNA decay, the EJC is involved in mRNA splicing, transport and translation. While structural studies have shed light on EJC assembly, transcriptome-wide analyses revealed differential EJC loading at spliced junctions. Thus, the EJC functions as a node of post-transcriptional gene expression networks, the importance of which is being revealed by the discovery of increasing numbers of EJC-related disorders.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease / genetics
  • Exons / genetics*
  • Gene Regulatory Networks*
  • Humans
  • Models, Genetic*
  • RNA Stability / genetics
  • Transcription, Genetic*