Speculating on the Roles of Nuclear Speckles: How RNA-Protein Nuclear Assemblies Affect Gene Expression

Sarah E. Hasenson, Yaron Shav-Tal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nuclear speckles are eukaryotic nuclear bodies enriched in splicing factors. Their exact purpose has been a matter of debate. The different proposed roles of nuclear speckles are reviewed and an additional layer of function is put forward, suggesting that by accumulating splicing factors within them, nuclear speckles can buffer the nucleoplasmic levels of splicing factors available for splicing and thereby modulate splicing rates. These findings build on the already established model that nuclear speckles function as a storage/recycling site for splicing factors. Many studies have demonstrated proximity between nuclear speckles and sites of active transcription, suggesting that this juxtaposition can enhance the rates of gene expression. It is found that nuclear speckle disassembly increases splicing factor availability in the nucleoplasm, leading to an increase in splicing rates and faster release of nascent transcripts from the gene after transcription. Altogether, this era in which genomic and imaging approaches are applied to study nuclear organization has expanded the outlook on the possible roles of nuclear speckles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2000104
JournalBioEssays
Volume42
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Wiley Periodicals LLC

Funding

Y.S.T. was funded by the Israel Science Foundation (ISF) and the Germany-Israel Foundation (GIF). Y.S.T. was funded by the Israel Science Foundation (ISF) and the Germany‐Israel Foundation (GIF).

FundersFunder number
Germany-Israel Foundation
Germany‐Israel Foundation
Israel Science Foundation

    Keywords

    • RNA
    • nuclear bodies
    • nuclear speckles
    • nucleus
    • splicing

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