Translation and mRNA decay are coupled processes; the link is most obvious in the case of NMD (nonsense-mediated mRNA decay). NMD is a mechanism that drastically reduces the level of mRNA harbouring PTCs (premature translation termination codons). The defining event in NMD is premature translation termination and the key question is: what distinguishes premature from normal translation termination? Surprisingly, in mammalian cells, PTC recognition is linked to pre-mRNA splicing. Here, we review the current understanding in view of recent developments.

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