The transport and targeting of mRNAs to specific intracellular locations is a ubiquitous process in prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. Despite the prevalent nature of RNA localization in guiding development, differentiation, cellular movement and intracellular organization of biochemical activities, only a few examples exist in higher plants. Here, we summarize past studies on mRNA-based protein targeting to specific subdomains of the cortical endoplasmic reticulum (ER)using the rice storage protein mRNAs as a model. Such studies have demonstrated that there are multiple pathways of RNA localization to the cortical ER that are controlled by cis-determinants (zipcodes)on the mRNA. These zipcode sequences are recognized by specific RNA binding proteins organized into multi-protein complexes. The available evidence suggests mRNAs are transported to their destination sites by co-opting membrane trafficking factors. Lastly, we discuss the major gaps in our knowledge on RNA localization and how information on the targeting of storage protein mRNAs can be used to further our understanding on how plant mRNAs are organized into regulons to facilitate protein localization and formation of multi-protein complexes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Plant Science