Polyadenylation signals

June 29, 2008

Almost* all mRNAs in a eukaryotic cell have a poly(A) tail that is added by a conserved complex of proteins.   Given that the poly(A) tail is added by a processing event, the question arises as to how this complex knows when and where to process the mRNA.  The answer, to a first approximation, is that polyadenylation is guided by specific sequence signals carried by the precursor mRNA itself – the so-called polyadenylation signal. Read the rest of this entry »