Probing dimensionality beyond the linear sequence of mRNA.

mRNA is a nexus entity between DNA and translating ribosomes. Recent developments in deep sequencing technologies coupled with structural probing have revealed new insights beyond the classic role of mRNA and place it more centrally as a direct effector of a variety of processes, including translation, cellular localization, and mRNA degradation. Here, we highlight emerging approaches to probe mRNA secondary structure on a global transcriptome-wide level and compare their potential and resolution. Combined approaches deliver a richer and more complex picture. While our understanding on the effect of secondary structure for various cellular processes is quite advanced, the next challenge is to unravel more complex mRNA architectures and tertiary interactions.

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