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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2001 May 25;283(5):1091-8.

The 5' UTR of protein kinase C epsilon confers translational regulation in vitro and in vivo.

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Department of Biology, University of York, York, YO10 5YW, United Kingdom.


We have examined translational regulation conferred by the 5' untranslated region (UTR) of PKCepsilon on expression of the luciferase reporter gene in vitro, using rabbit reticulocyte lysates and in vivo, in contact-inhibiting mouse Swiss 3T3 fibroblasts and non-contact-inhibiting Swiss 3T6 fibroblasts. In rabbit reticulocyte lysates, the 5' UTR of PKCepsilon significantly represses translation. In 3T3 and 3T6 cells, the 5' UTR of PKCepsilon reduces luciferase activity, but not to the same extent as it does in vitro. In rabbit reticulocyte lysate, the degree of repression mediated by different PKCepsilon 5' UTR-deletion constructs correlates with the free energy (DeltaG) of their predicted secondary structures. However, in cells, secondary structure is not the only determinant of repression; an internal region of the 5' UTR is both necessary and sufficient for repression. Mutation of an upstream AUG (uAUG) motif in this region partially relieves repression. We conclude that the 5' UTR of PKCepsilon can mediate translational regulation and that translation inhibition in vivo involves the uAUG motif. Our findings also suggest that there are factors present in fibroblasts, but not in rabbit reticulocyte lysates that substantially overcome the repressive qualities of the long, structured 5' UTR. Thus, we have identified a potential new level of regulation of PKC in mammalian cells.

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