The central dogma states that DNA is transcribed to generate RNA and that the mRNA components are then translated to generate proteins; a simple statement that completely belies the complexities of gene expression. Post-transcriptional regulation alone has many points of control, including changes in the stability, translatability or susceptibility to degradation of RNA species, where both cis- and trans-acting elements will play a role in the outcome. The present review concentrates on just one aspect of this complicated process, which ultimately regulates the protein production in cells, or more specifically what governs RNA catabolism in a particular subcompartment of human cells: the mitochondrion.

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