ARS2/SRRT is an essential eukaryotic protein that has emerged as a critical factor in the sorting of functional from non-functional RNA polymerase II (Pol II) transcripts. Through its interaction with the Cap Binding Complex (CBC), it associates with the cap of newly made RNAs and acts as a hub for competitive exchanges of protein factors that ultimately determine the fate of the associated RNA. The central position of the protein within the nuclear gene expression machinery likely explains why its depletion causes a broad range of phenotypes, yet an exact function of the protein remains elusive. Here, we consider the literature on ARS2/SRRT with the attempt to garner the threads into a unifying working model for ARS2/SRRT function at the nexus of Pol II transcription, transcript maturation and quality control.

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