Nuclear export of RNA: Different sizes, shapes and functions

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2018 Mar;75:70-77. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2017.08.054. Epub 2017 Sep 1.


Export of protein-coding and non-coding RNA molecules from the nucleus to the cytoplasm is critical for gene expression. This necessitates the continuous transport of RNA species of different size, shape and function through nuclear pore complexes via export receptors and adaptor proteins. Here, we provide an overview of the major RNA export pathways in humans, highlighting the similarities and differences between each. Its importance is underscored by the growing appreciation that deregulation of RNA export pathways is associated with human diseases like cancer.

Keywords: Disease; Nuclear export; Ribosomal RNA; lncRNA; mRNA; miRNA.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Active Transport, Cell Nucleus
  • Animals
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • RNA / genetics
  • RNA / metabolism*
  • RNA Isoforms / genetics
  • RNA Isoforms / metabolism*
  • RNA Transport
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism


  • RNA Isoforms
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • RNA