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FEMS Microbiol Rev. 2006 Nov;30(6):967-79. Epub 2006 Sep 21.

Translation initiation and the fate of bacterial mRNAs.

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Max F. Perutz Laboratories, Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology, University Departments at Vienna Biocenter, Vienna, Austria.


Studies in pro- and eukaryotes have revealed that translation can determine the stability of a given messenger RNA. In bacteria, intrinsic mRNA signals can confer efficient ribosome binding, whereas translational feedback inhibition or environmental cues can interfere with this process. Such regulatory mechanisms are often controlled by RNA-binding proteins, small noncoding RNAs and structural rearrangements within the 5' untranslated region. Here, we review molecular events occurring in the 5' untranslated region of primarily Escherichia coli mRNAs with regard to their effects on mRNA stability.

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