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What are stress granules?

Stress granules form during the inhibition of translation initiation. Stress granules are higher-order assemblies of non-translating mRNAs. These are ubiquitous, non-membrane-bound assemblies of protein and RNA forming during the inhibition of translation initiation. Stress granules appear to play a role in stress response and gene regulation. Related ribonucleoprotein (RNP) granules exist in neurons and can affect synaptic plasticity. Mutations in RNA binding proteins or stress granule-remodeling complexes leading to an increased formation of stress granules appear to cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other degenerative disorders. The formation of stress granules can influence both tumor progression and viral infection.

Reference

Van Treeck, B. et al.; RNA self-assembly contributes to stress granule formation and defining the stress granule transcriptome. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 115, 2734–2739 (2018). [PNAS]

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