2Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, 02115 USA
3Harvard Medical School Initiative for RNA Medicine, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts, 02115 USA
Received May 27, 2021; Revised July 9, 2021; Accepted July 12, 2021
Messenger RNA is complexed with proteins throughout its life cycle. The first mRNA-containing particles of non-ribosomal nature, named informosomes, were discovered in cytoplasmic extracts of fish embryos by the laboratory of Alexander Spirin, and later described in live cells. Over time, various other nuclear and cytoplasmic mRNA-containing ribonucleoproteins (mRNPs) have been found and characterized. Although these mRNPs are very diverse in their subcellular localization, structure and functions, they share many common characteristics with informosomes. In this mini-review, I will discuss the discovery of informosomes, their characteristics and proposed functions, and their potential relationship to other mRNPs.
KEY WORDS: informosomes, mRNA, ribonucleoproteins, mRNP, RNA granules, protein biosynthesis