The effects of RNA secondary structure on translation have been well recognized; however, the global interplay between both in a dynamic cellular system is poorly understood. Beaudoin, Giraldez and colleagues have analyzed RNA structure dynamics during zebrafish embryonic development and have found that the ribosome unzips mRNA secondary structure during translation, thus leading to a global decrease of structure in highly translated transcripts. Furthermore, the authors establish RNA structure in the 3′ untranslated regions of mRNAs as a major regulator of transcript stability in this context.
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Kramer, M.C., Gregory, B.D. Does RNA secondary structure drive translation or vice versa?. Nat Struct Mol Biol 25, 641–643 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41594-018-0100-2