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Comparative and Functional Genomics
Volume 2012, Article ID 504292, 7 pages
Review Article

Cytoplasmic Ribonucleoprotein Foci in Eukaryotes: Hotspots of Bio(chemical)Diversity

1Centro Regional de Estudios Genómicos, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, CP 1888 Florencio Varela, Argentina
2Departamento de Ciencias Básicas y Experimentales, Universidad Nacional del Noroeste de Buenos Aires, Avenida Calchaquí 5900, CP 1888 Buenos Aires, Pergamino, Argentina

Received 1 February 2012; Accepted 22 March 2012

Academic Editor: Greco Hernández

Copyright © 2012 Carla Layana et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The life of an mRNA from transcription to degradation offers multiple control check points that regulate gene expression. Transcription, splicing, and translation have been widely studied for many years; however, in recent years, new layers of posttranscriptional and posttranslational control have been uncovered. They involve the regulation of the metabolism of mRNA in cytoplasmic foci. They are collections of ribonucleoprotein complexes that, in most cases, remain still uncharacterized, except the processing bodies (PBs) and stress granules (SGs), which have been studied (and reviewed) in detail. A challenging prospective is to know how many different classes of foci exist, which functions they support, how are they formed, and how do they relate one to each other. Here, we present an update of the component of the different granules, a possible function, and hypothesis on their in vivo dynamics related to translational control.