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Proteomics. 2004 Feb;4(2):316-26.

Identification and characterization of the expression of the translation initiation factor 4A (eIF4A) from Drosophila melanogaster.

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Centro de Biología Molecular "Severo Ochoa", Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and C.S.I.C., Madrid, Spain.


We have identified the initiation factor 4A (eIF4A) in a two-dimensional protein database of Drosophila wing imaginal discs. eIF4A, a member of the DEAD-box family of RNA helicases, forms the active eIF4F complex that in the presence of eIF4B and eIF4H unwinds the secondary structure of the 5'-UTR of mRNAs during translational initiation. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and microsequencing allowed us to purify eIF4A, and generate specific polyclonal antibodies. A combination of immunoblotting and labelling with [(35)S]methionine + [(35)S]cysteine revealed the existence of a single eIF4A isoform encoded by a previously reported gene that maps to chromosome 2L at 26A7-9. Expression of this gene yields two mRNA species, generated by alternative splicing in the 3'-untranslated region. The two mRNAs contain the same open reading frame and produce the identical eIF4A protein. No expression was detected of the eIF4A-related gene CG7483. We detected eIF4A protein expression in the wing imaginal discs of several Drosophila species, and in haltere, leg 1, leg 2, leg 3, and eye-antenna imaginal discs of D. melanogaster. Examination of eIF4A in tumor suppressor mutants showed significantly increased (> 50%) expression in the wing imaginal discs of these larvae. We observed ubiquitous expression of eIF4A mRNA and protein during Drosophila embryogenesis. Yeast two-hybrid analysis demonstrated the in vivo interaction of Drosophila eIF4G with the N-terminal third of eIF4A.

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