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Trends Biochem Sci. 1994 Apr;19(4):159-64.

Initiation codons within 5'-leaders of mRNAs as regulators of translation.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Medicine, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA 98104.


Why should a preponderance of proto-oncogenes, growth factor genes and growth factor receptor genes contain translation initiation codons and associated open reading frames in their 5'-leaders? An increasing number of open reading frames are being shown to function as cis-acting regulatory signals able to moderate expression of the downstream reading frame. These regulatory elements could play a fundamental role in the regulation of proliferation of vertebrate cells.

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