Defining Cis-acting elements and trans-acting factors in RNA localization

K. Yaniv*, J. K. Yisraeli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Research over the last 10 to 15 years has revealed that intracellular RNA localization is a widespread phenomenon found in a large range of different cell types in an equally impressive number of different organisms (Bashirullah et al., 1998; St. Johnston, 1995). Efforts have focused both on the molecular mechanisms involved in localizing RNAs to particular intracellular targets and on the functional importance (to the cell) of placing certain RNAs at particular cellular sites. In many cases, an understanding of the role of RNA localization seems to be predicated on a careful analysis of how a particular RNA achieves its characteristic distribution. A generalized model of RNA localization usually invokes cellular factors recognizing RNA target sequences. This review will focus on several systems in which cis-acting elements and trans-acting factors recognizing these elements are involved in RNA localization: how they have been defined, how they relate to each other, and how they interact and function to help achieve defined intracellular localization. Conservation of both RNA elements and protein factors across species suggests that RNA localization is probably a fundamental cellular process. (C) 2001 Academic Press.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)521-539
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Review of Cytology
StatePublished - 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work was partially supported by the Zalman Cohen-Mager Fund, administered by the Hebrew University Authority for Research and Development, and by a grant (to J. K. Y.) from the Israel Science Foundation, administered by Israel Academy of Arts and Sciences.


  • Fibroblasts
  • Intracellular RNA localization
  • Oligodendrocytes
  • Oocytes
  • RNA binding


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