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Biol Cell. 2008 Jan;100(1):27-38.

Re-programming of translation following cell stress allows IRES-mediated translation to predominate.

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School of Pharmacy, Centre for Biomolecular Sciences, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK.


There is now an overwhelming body of evidence to suggest that internal ribosome entry is required to maintain the expression of specific proteins during patho-physiological situations when cap-dependent translation is compromised, for example, following heat shock or during mitosis, hypoxia, differentiation and apoptosis. Translational profiling has been used by several groups to assess the extent to which alternative mechanisms of translation initiation selectively recruit mRNAs to polysomes during cell stress. The data from these studies have shown that under each condition 3-5% of coding mRNAs remain associated with the polysomes. Importantly, the genes identified in each of these studies do not show a significant amount of overlap, suggesting that 10-15% of all mRNAs have the capability for their initiation to occur via alternative mechanism(s).

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