Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 Jun 19;98(13):7029-36.

Molecular mechanisms of translation initiation in eukaryotes.

Author information

  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY 11203, USA.


Translation initiation is a complex process in which initiator tRNA, 40S, and 60S ribosomal subunits are assembled by eukaryotic initiation factors (eIFs) into an 80S ribosome at the initiation codon of mRNA. The cap-binding complex eIF4F and the factors eIF4A and eIF4B are required for binding of 43S complexes (comprising a 40S subunit, eIF2/GTP/Met-tRNAi and eIF3) to the 5' end of capped mRNA but are not sufficient to promote ribosomal scanning to the initiation codon. eIF1A enhances the ability of eIF1 to dissociate aberrantly assembled complexes from mRNA, and these factors synergistically mediate 48S complex assembly at the initiation codon. Joining of 48S complexes to 60S subunits to form 80S ribosomes requires eIF5B, which has an essential ribosome-dependent GTPase activity and hydrolysis of eIF2-bound GTP induced by eIF5. Initiation on a few mRNAs is cap-independent and occurs instead by internal ribosomal entry. Encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) and hepatitis C virus epitomize distinct mechanisms of internal ribosomal entry site (IRES)-mediated initiation. The eIF4A and eIF4G subunits of eIF4F bind immediately upstream of the EMCV initiation codon and promote binding of 43S complexes. EMCV initiation does not involve scanning and does not require eIF1, eIF1A, and the eIF4E subunit of eIF4F. Initiation on some EMCV-like IRESs requires additional noncanonical initiation factors, which alter IRES conformation and promote binding of eIF4A/4G. Initiation on the hepatitis C virus IRES is even simpler: 43S complexes containing only eIF2 and eIF3 bind directly to the initiation codon as a result of specific interaction of the IRES and the 40S subunit.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (4)Free text

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk