Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nucleic Acids Res. 2010 Nov;38(20):7199-210. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkq541. Epub 2010 Jun 25.

In polycistronic Qbeta RNA, single-strandedness at one ribosome binding site directly affects translational initiations at a distal upstream cistron.

Author information

  • 1Science Department, Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York, New York, NY 10007, USA.


In Qβ RNA, sequestering the coat gene ribosome binding site in a putatively strong hairpin stem structure eliminated synthesis of coat protein and activated protein synthesis from the much weaker maturation gene initiation site, located 1300 nucleotides upstream. As the stability of a hairpin stem comprising the coat gene Shine-Dalgarno site was incrementally increased, there was a corresponding increase in translation of maturation protein. The effect of the downstream coat gene ribosome binding sequence on maturation gene expression appeared to have occurred only in cis and did not require an AUG start codon or initiation of coat protein synthesis. In all cases, no structural reorganization was predicted to occur within Qβ RNA. Our results suggest that protein synthesis from a relatively weak translational initiation site is greatly influenced by the presence or absence of a stronger ribosome binding site located elsewhere on the same RNA molecule. The data are consistent with a mechanism in which multiple ribosome binding sites compete in cis for translational initiations as a means of regulating protein synthesis on a polycistronic messenger RNA.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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