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Curr Biol. 2000 Sep 21;10(18):1147-50.

Interaction of eIF4G with poly(A)-binding protein stimulates translation and is critical for Xenopus oocyte maturation.

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Department of Biochemistry and McGill Cancer Center, McGill University, Montreal, H3G 1Y6, Quebec, Canada.


The poly(A)-binding protein Pab1p interacts directly with the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4G (eIF4G) to facilitate translation initiation of polyadenylated mRNAs in yeast [1,2]. Although the eIF4G-PABP interaction has also been demonstrated in a mammalian system [3,4], its biological significance in vertebrates is unknown. In Xenopus oocytes, cytoplasmic polyadenylation of several mRNAs coincides with their translational activation and is critical for maturation [5-7]. Because the amount of PABP is very low in oocytes [8], it has been argued that the eIF4G-PABP interaction does not play a major role in translational activation during oocyte maturation. Also, overexpression of PABP in Xenopus oocytes has only a modest stimulatory effect on translation of polyadenylated mRNA and does not alter either the efficiency or the kinetics of progesterone-induced maturation [9]. Here, we report that the expression of an eIF4GI mutant defective in PABP binding in Xenopus oocytes reduces translation of polyadenylated mRNA and dramatically inhibits progesterone-induced maturation. Our results show that the eIF4G-PABP interaction is critical for translational control of maternal mRNAs during Xenopus development.

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