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Nucleic Acids Res. 1991 Oct 25;19(20):5491-6.

Divergent genes for translation initiation factor eIF-4A are coordinately expressed in tobacco.

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Institute of Plant Physiology, University of Berne, Switzerland.


Three cDNA clones coding for eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4A, eIF-4A, were isolated from a Nicotiana plumbaginifolia root cDNA library by heterologous screening. The clones comprise two distinct gene classes as two clones are highly similar while the third is divergent. The genes belong to a highly conserved gene family, the DEAD box supergene family, although the divergent clone contains a DESD box rather than the characteristic DEAD box. The two clones are representatives of separate small multigene families in both N. plumbaginifolia and N. tabacum. Representatives of each family are coordinately expressed in all plant organs examined. The 47 kD polypeptide product of one clone, overexpressed in E. coli, crossreacts immunologically with a rabbit reticulocyte eIF-4A polyclonal antibody. Taken together the data suggest that the two Nicotiana eIF-4A genes encode translation initiation factors. The sequence divergence and the coordinate expression of the two Nicotiana eIF-4A families provide an excellent system to determine if functionally distinct eIF-4A polypeptides are required for translation initiation in plants.

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