The role of TREX in gene expression and disease

Biochem J. 2016 Oct 1;473(19):2911-35. doi: 10.1042/BCJ20160010.


TRanscription and EXport (TREX) is a conserved multisubunit complex essential for embryogenesis, organogenesis and cellular differentiation throughout life. By linking transcription, mRNA processing and export together, it exerts a physiologically vital role in the gene expression pathway. In addition, this complex prevents DNA damage and regulates the cell cycle by ensuring optimal gene expression. As the extent of TREX activity in viral infections, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and cancer emerges, the need for a greater understanding of TREX function becomes evident. A complete elucidation of the composition, function and interactions of the complex will provide the framework for understanding the molecular basis for a variety of diseases. This review details the known composition of TREX, how it is regulated and its cellular functions with an emphasis on mammalian systems.

Keywords: NXF1; RNA processing; THO; mRNA export; nucleocytoplasmic; transport.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport
  • DNA Damage
  • Gene Expression*
  • Humans
  • RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Transcription Factors