Cis-acting regulatory sequence elements are sequences contained in the 3′ and 5′ untranslated region, introns, or coding regions of precursor RNAs and mature mRNAs that are selectively recognized by a complementary set of one or more trans-acting factors to regulate posttranscriptional gene expression. This chapter focuses on mammalian cis-acting regulatory elements that had been recently discovered in different regions: pre-processed and mature. The chapter begins with an overview of two large networks of mRNAs that contain conserved AU-rich elements (AREs) or GU-rich elements (GREs), and their role in mammalian cell physiology. Other, less conserved, cis-acting elements and their functional role in different steps of RNA maturation and metabolism will be discussed. The molecular characteristics of pathological cis-acting sequences that rose from gene mutations or transcriptional aberrations are briefly outlined, with the proposed approach to restore normal gene expression. Concise models of the function of posttranscriptional regulatory networks within different cellular compartments conclude this chapter.
Part of the book: Gene Expression and Regulation in Mammalian Cells