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Abstract

Regulation of genetic output is a complex biological phenomenon that allows cells with identical genetic material to enable diverse phenotypic outcomes. Epigenetics is the study of factors that change gene expression without perturbing the underlying genetic sequence. Mechanisms of epigenetics feature a multitude of chemical modifications to DNA as well as accompanying histone proteins, which tune the transcriptional output in a reversible manner. Recently, the concept of reversible RNA epigenetics has emerged as a mechanism to regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally. N6-methylasdenosein (m6A) is the most common internal modification in eukaryotic messenger RNA (mRNA). This RNA modification is recognized by m6A-selective RNA binding protein of the YTH family, which incorporate modified RNAs into canonical pathways for mRNA metabolism. In this work, we describe the function of the only nuclear YTH protein YTHDC1 in promoting the nuclear export of methylated mRNAs by interaction with the splicing and export adaptor protein SRSF3. We then turn to a biological example of rapid mRNA processing during progression through the cell cycle. We propose that m6A modifications serve roles in the dynamic regulation of the cellular transcriptome.

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