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1). It is widely presumed—although there is little evidence that addresses this presumption—that degradation of certain maternal mRNAs is necessary so that the zygotically synthesized transcripts and proteins can take control of development at the MBT. To date, quantitative analyses of individual transcripts have been very limited. In Drosophila, for example, the ribosomal protein-encoding mRNA, rpA1, is stable through the MBT whereas nanos, string, Pgc, and Hsp83 transcripts are unstable (9). Transcript stability is regulated in space as well as in time.

Furthermore, alterations of the ribonomic network may be characteristic of particular diseases. Likewise, the effects of drugs, chemicals, or toxins, as well as states of differentiation or aging should be reflected in the ribonomic analysis of a cell or tissue. For example, Tenenbaum et al. (1) demonstrated that upon treatment of ELAV/Hu-transfected P19 cells with retinoic acid to induce neuronal differentiation, new mRNAs entered into the ELAV/Hu mRNP complexes. By quantitative analysis, it was evident that these mRNAs were uniquely compartmentalized in ELAV/Hu mRNP complexes and would not all have been identified by using standard transcriptomics.

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