Birth and Death of Histone mRNAs
In metazoans, histone mRNAs are not polyadenylated but end in a conserved stem-loop. Stem-loop binding protein (SLBP) binds to the stem-loop and is required for all steps in histone mRNA metabolism. The genes for the five histone proteins are linked. A histone locus body (HLB) forms at each histone gene locus. It contains factors essential for transcription and processing of histone mRNAs, and couples transcription and processing. The active form of U7 snRNP contains the HLB component FLASH (FLICE-associated huge protein), the histone cleavage complex (HCC), and a subset of polyadenylation factors including the endonuclease CPSF73. Histone mRNAs are rapidly degraded when DNA replication is inhibited by a 3′ to 5′ pathway that requires extensive uridylation of mRNA decay intermediates.
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