Submitted to: Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: October 11, 2011
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Citation: Bassett, C.L. 2012. Cajal bodies and plant RNA metabolism. Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences. DOI: 10.1080/07352689.2011.645431. Technical Abstract: Intracellular location of components associated with RNA metabolism is a key feature of gene expression regulation, although it is often neglected in favor of more direct factors influencing expression. A number of nuclear and subnuclear compartments exist, each carrying out specific functions. This article focuses on Cajal bodies, a dynamic body composed of numerous proteins and small RNAs. Cajal bodies, or CBs, are universal entities found in both the nucleolus and nucleoplasm of most living cells. Their function relates to RNA metabolism, including transcription, splicing, stable RNA modification, small RNA biogenesis, gene silencing, nonsense mediated decay, and telomere maintenance. It is generally thought that CBs form docking stations for each of the functions so that the individual processes proceed quickly and in an organized manner. A brief introduction on what is known about the function and composition of CBs in animal cells is provided, followed by highlights of the lastest research on CBs in plants.