Following the Birth, Life, and Death of mRNAs in Single Cells

Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol. 2023 Oct 16:39:253-275. doi: 10.1146/annurev-cellbio-022723-024045.


Recent advances in single-molecule imaging of mRNAs in fixed and living cells have enabled the lives of mRNAs to be studied with unprecedented spatial and temporal detail. These approaches have moved beyond simply being able to observe specific events and have begun to allow an understanding of how regulation is coupled between steps in the mRNA life cycle. Additionally, these methodologies are now being applied in multicellular systems and animals to provide more nuanced insights into the physiological regulation of RNA metabolism.

Keywords: RNA localization; fluorescence microscopy; mRNA decay; splicing; transcription; translation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • RNA, Messenger* / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger* / metabolism


  • RNA, Messenger