Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology 10, 430-436 (June 2009) | doi:10.1038/nrm2694

Article series: Post-transcriptional control

OpinionRNA granules: post-transcriptional and epigenetic modulators of gene expression

Paul Anderson1 & Nancy Kedersha1  About the authors


The composition of cytoplasmic messenger ribonucleoproteins (mRNPs) is determined by their nuclear and cytoplasmic histories and reflects past functions and future fates. The protein components of selected mRNP complexes promote their assembly into microscopically visible cytoplasmic RNA granules, including stress granules, processing bodies and germ cell (or polar) granules. We propose that RNA granules can be both a cause and a consequence of altered mRNA translation, decay or editing. In this capacity, RNA granules serve as key modulators of post-transcriptional and epigenetic gene expression.

Author affiliations

  1. Paul Anderson and Nancy Kedersha are at the Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy, Brigham and Womens Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 75 Francis Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

Correspondence to: Paul Anderson1 Email:


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