Regulation of gene expression in Kinetoplastids relies mainly on post-transcriptional mechanisms. Recent high-throughput analyses, combined with mathematical modelling, have demonstrated possibilities for transcript-specific regulation at every stage: trans splicing, polyadenylation, translation, and degradation of both the precursor and the mature mRNA. Different mRNA degradation pathways result in different types of degradation kinetics. The original idea that the fate of an mRNA - or even just its degradation kinetics - can be defined by a single "regulatory element" is an over-simplification. It is now clear that every mRNA can bind many different proteins, some of which may compete with each other. Superimposed upon this complexity are the interactions of those proteins with effectors of gene expression. The amount of protein that is made from a gene is therefore determined by a complex network of interactions. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.
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