In eukaryotic cells, non-translating mRNAs can accumulate into cytoplasmic mRNP (messenger ribonucleoprotein) granules such as P-bodies (processing bodies) and SGs (stress granules). P-bodies contain the mRNA decay and translational repression machineries and are ubiquitously expressed in mammalian cells and lower eukaryote species including Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans. In contrast, SGs are only detected during cellular stress when translation is inhibited and form from aggregates of stalled pre-initiation complexes. SGs and P-bodies are related to NGs (neuronal granules), which are essential in the localization and control of mRNAs in neurons. Importantly, RNA granules are linked to the cytoskeleton, which plays an important role in mediating many of their dynamic properties. In the present review, we discuss how P-bodies, SGs and NGs are linked to cytoskeletal networks and the importance of these linkages in maintaining localization of their RNA cargoes.

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