Exosome complex

multi-protein intracellular complex capable of degrading various types of RNA molecules

The exosome complex is a protein complex which can degrade RNA strands (~stop them working). In eukaryotic cells, the exosome complex is present in the cytoplasm, nucleus, and especially the nucleolus.

"Ribbon view" of the human exosome complex. PDB 2NN6. The channel through which RNA passes during degradation is visible at the center of the protein complex

The core of the complex has a ring structure consisting of six proteins that all belong to the same class of RNases, the 'RNase PH-like proteins'.[1]

Exosome complexes are found in both eukaryotic cells and archaea. In bacteria a simpler complex called the degradosome carries out similar functions.


  1. Schilders G.; et al. (2006). "Cell and molecular biology of the exosome: how to make or break an RNA". International review of cytology. International Review of Cytology. 251: 159–208. doi:10.1016/S0074-7696(06)51005-8. ISBN 9780123646552. PMID 16939780.