A functional competition between RNA export factor AlyREF and the RNA exosome adaptor protein ZFC3H1 determines the fate of polyadenylated RNA. Shortly after RNA transcription starts, the nascent RNA is bound by the cap-binding proteins, CBP20 and CBP80. ARS2 directly interacts with CBP20/CBP80 to bridge interactions with several different complexes that determine RNA fate. (Left panel of the figure). Polyadenylated RNAs, like most mRNAs, are exported from the nucleus to the cytoplasm in a process involving the export factor AlyREF, which interacts with CBP20/CBP80 to recruit the export machinery. (Right panel of the figure). ZFC3H1 acts as a central factor in retention and degradation of polyadenylated RNA. This prevents unwanted RNAs from entering the cytoplasm where they could potentially cause a global translation collapse.