Assembly of ribonucleoprotein complexes is a facilitated quality-controlled process that typically includes modification to the RNA component from precursor to mature form. The SRP (signal recognition particle) is a cytosolic ribonucleoprotein that catalyses protein targeting to the endoplasmic reticulum. Assembly of SRP is largely nucleolar, and most of its protein components are required to generate a stable complex. A pre-SRP is exported from the nucleus to the cytoplasm where the final protein, Srp54p, is incorporated. Although this outline of the SRP assembly pathway has been determined, factors that facilitate this and/or function in quality control of the RNA are poorly understood. In the present paper, the SRP assembly pathway is summarized, and evidence for the involvement of both the Rex1p and nuclear exosome nucleases and the TRAMP (Trf4–Air2–Mtr4p polyadenylation) adenylase in quality control of SRP RNA is discussed. The RNA component of SRP is transcribed by RNA polymerase III, and both La, which binds all newly transcribed RNAs generated by this enzyme, and the nuclear Lsm complex are implicated in SRP RNA metabolism.

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