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Oncogene. 1999 Nov 11;18(47):6419-24.

A translation repressor element resides in the 3' untranslated region of human p53 mRNA.

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Ontario Cancer Institute/Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, Canada.


The 3' untranslated region of human p53 mRNA represses translation both in vitro and in vivo. Here, we identify a cis-acting 66-nucleotide U-rich sequence in the human p53 mRNA 3' untranslated region that mediates translational repression. Using UV cross-linking, we detect a 40 kDa protein that interacts specifically with the p53 3'UTR containing the repressor element. Enhanced translation of p53 mRNA contributes to the accumulation of p53 protein in cells exposed to gamma-radiation and could be a consequence of relieving the inhibition mediated by the repressor element.

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