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J Mol Biol. 2002 May 10;318(4):951-62.

Modulation of eukaryotic mRNA stability via the cap-binding translation complex eIF4F.

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Posttranscriptional Control Group, Department of Biomolecular Sciences, University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), P.O. Box 88, M60 1QD, UK.


Decapping by Dcp1 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a key step in mRNA degradation. However, the cap also binds the eukaryotic initiation factor (eIF) complex 4F and its associated proteins. Characterisation of the relationship between decapping and interactions involving eIF4F is an essential step towards understanding polysome disassembly and mRNA decay. Three types of observation suggest how changes in the functional status of eIF4F modulate mRNA stability in vivo. First, partial disruption of the interaction between eIF4E and eIF4G, caused by mutations in eIF4E or the presence of the yeast 4E-binding protein p20, stabilised mRNAs. The interactions of eIF4G and p20 with eIF4E may therefore act to modulate the decapping process. Since we also show that the in vitro decapping rate is not directly affected by the nature of the body of the mRNA, this suggests that changes in eIF4F structure could play a role in triggering decapping during mRNA decay. Second, these effects were seen in the absence of extreme changes in global translation rates in the cell, and are therefore relevant to normal mRNA turnover. Third, a truncated form of eIF4E (Delta196) had a reduced capacity to inhibit Dcp1-mediated decapping in vitro, yet did not change cellular mRNA half-lives. Thus, the accessibility of the cap to Dcp1 in vivo is not simply controlled by competition with eIF4E, but is subject to switching between molecular states with different levels of access.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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