Different classes of RNA are exported from the nucleus by distinct transport pathways, and the pathway employed is critical for the cytoplasmic fate of the RNA. It is not well understood how the nuclear export machinery of higher eukaryotes discriminates between the different RNAs, most critically, between messengerRNA (mRNA) and U-rich small nuclear RNAs (U snRNAs) that share similarity but use completely distinct export pathways. The project proposed here aims to identify proteins that restrict an RNA to the mRNA export pathway. Modified forms of the Ul snRNA which are transported like mRNA, will be used to characterise those identity elements. I want to purify the ribonucleoprotein complexes (RNPs) containing the modified Ul snRNAs, identify the proteins attached to the RNA via a proteomic approach and analyse their function in RNP assembly and RNA transport. Furthermore, I intend to investigate how the proteins conferring mRNA identity impair the accessibility of the RNA to other RNA export pathways.
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