- It is now clear that cells form a wide collection of large RNA-protein assemblies, referred to as RNP granules. RNP granules exist in bacterial cells and can be found in both the cytosol and nucleus of eukaryotic cells. Recent approaches have begun to define the RNA and protein composition of a number of RNP granules. Herein, we review the composition and assembly of RNP granules, as well as how RNPs are targeted to RNP granules using stress granules and P-bodies as model systems. Taken together, these reveal that RNP granules form through the summative effects of a combination of protein-protein, protein-RNA, and RNA-RNA interactions. Similarly, the partitioning of individual RNPs into stress granules is determined by the combinatorial effects of multiple elements. Thus, RNP granules are assemblies generally dominated by combinatorial effects, thereby providing rich opportunities for biological regulation.