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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2001 Jun;13(3):326-31.

Diversity in translational regulation.

Author information

  • Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Section of Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology, The University of Texas at Austin, 2500 Speedway, Austin, TX 78712-1095, USA. pmac@icmb.utexas.edu


Translational control of individual mRNAs relies on cis-regulatory elements, which are often found in the 3' untranslated region. The best characterized of these regulate cytoplasmic polyadenylation, and much of this process can now be defined in terms of molecular interactions, protein modifications and their consequences. Biochemical and genetic approaches have advanced the understanding of the many instances of translational regulation that are crucial for body patterning in Drosophila. For example, in vitro translation systems have been used to study the regulatory mechanisms, and genetic interactions have been instrumental in establishing a link between a regulatory factor and a component of the translational apparatus. Although most examples of control are thought to affect the initiation of translation, two classes of regulatory factors, one a protein and one a short non-coding RNA now appear to inhibit protein synthesis during elongation. Diversity seems to be a central feature of translational control, both in the mechanisms themselves and in the situations where this form of regulation is used.

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