In eukaryotes, RNAs newly synthesized by RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) undergo several processing steps prior to transport to the cytoplasm. It has long been known that RNAs with defects in processing or export are removed in the nucleus. Recent studies revealed that RNAs without apparent defects are also subjected to nuclear degradation, indicating that nuclear RNA fate is determined in a more complex and dynamic way than previously thought. Nuclear RNA sorting directly determines the quality and quantity of RNA pools for future translation and thus is of significant importance. In this essay, we will summarize recent studies on this topic, mainly focusing on findings in mammalian system, and discuss about important remaining questions and possible biological relevance for nuclear RNA fate determination.

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