RNA binding proteins play key roles in many aspects of RNA metabolism and function, including splicing, transport, translation, localization, stability and degradation. Within the past few years, proteomics studies have identified dozens of enzymes in intermediary metabolism that bind to RNA. The wide occurrence and conservation of RNA binding ability across distant branches of the evolutionary tree suggest that these moonlighting enzymes are involved in connections between intermediary metabolism and gene expression that comprise far more extensive regulatory networks than previously thought. There are many outstanding questions about the molecular structures and mechanisms involved, the effects of these interactions on enzyme and RNA functions, and the factors that regulate the interactions. The effects on RNA function are likely to be wider than regulation of translation, and some enzyme–RNA interactions have been found to regulate the enzyme's catalytic activity. Several enzyme–RNA interactions have been shown to be affected by cellular factors that change under different intracellular and environmental conditions, including concentrations of substrates and cofactors. Understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in the interactions between the enzymes and RNA, the factors involved in regulation, and the effects of the enzyme–RNA interactions on both the enzyme and RNA functions will lead to a better understanding of the role of the many newly identified enzyme–RNA interactions in connecting intermediary metabolism and gene expression.

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