AAT Bioquest

How does RNA travel through the cell?

Posted October 9, 2019


RNA molecules in the cytosol clump together into ‘granules’ for easy transportation by the protein annexin A11. This protein, once it has attached to an RNA granule, will adhere to lysosomes, which travel easily throughout the cell. This assisted travel is essential in larger cells such as neurons. Once the RNA has been delivered to the correct location within the cell, its code can be translated into the necessary protein. Dysregulation of RNA transportation means that proteins either are not manufactured in the first place, or are in the wrong locations, so they cannot be used effectively. Multiple pathologies, such as ALS, are linked to errors in this transportation mechanism, often with the protein annexin A11 or some other aspect of the RNA transportation system. Tracking lysosome activity is useful in both living and fixed cells to measure multiple cell processes, including RNA translation.

RNA Transportation
Figure 1. Mechanism of RNA Transportation facilitated by annexin A11. Image taken from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2019.08.050


For more information on RNA transportation in large cells, see the full paper in Cell.

Additional resources

Cell Viability and Health

Cell Structures and Organelles: Lysosomes