These tiny subnuclear bodies typically measure 360 nanometers in diameter. They are composed of a long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) molecule called NEAT1, which serves as the seed. Proteins that bind to NEAT1 accumulate, self-associate, and recruit other proteins, forming a mature paraspeckle.

Peg gerrity

When a cell is stressed, various triggers can cause it to increase the production of the lncRNA NEAT1, leading to the formation of more paraspeckles. These bodies can grow to up to 2 micrometers in length, changing from a spherical shape to oblong and sometimes branched structures. They trap various proteins and mRNAs, hindering their function and thereby affecting the cell’s continued response to stress.

1 As they accumulate proteins and RNAs, paraspeckles can become linked together,  growing bigger, oblong, and sometimes branched.
2 Greater abundance of NEAT1 leads to more paraspeckles.
3 Specific messenger RNAs become trapped in paraspeckles and...

Read the full story.

Interested in reading more?

Magaizne Cover

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?