Indexed on: 11 Oct '11Published on: 11 Oct '11Published in: Trends in Pharmacological Sciences
Skeletal muscle development, repair and function are dependent on highly coordinated expression of many genes. RNA-binding proteins are crucial determinants of gene expression in the health and disease of various tissues, including skeletal muscle. A variety of RNA-binding proteins are associated with a transcript during its life cycle and define the lifetime, cellular localization, processing and rate at which that transcript is translated and ultimately degraded. The focus of this review is to highlight the roles of the best-characterized RNA-binding proteins in muscle, including HuR, KSRP, CUGBP1, PABPN1, Lin-28 and TTP. Recent studies indicate key functions for these RNA-binding proteins in different aspects of muscle physiology. Understanding the role of specific RNA-binding proteins in skeletal muscle will provide insights not only into basic mechanisms regulating gene expression in muscle, but also into the etiology and pathology of muscle disease.