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EMBO Rep. 2011 Jun;12(6):581-6. doi: 10.1038/embor.2011.66. Epub 2011 Apr 28.

The ribosomal protein RACK1 is required for microRNA function in both C. elegans and humans.

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Laval University Cancer Research Centre, Hôtel-Dieu de Québec, 9 McMahon Street, Quebec City, Québec G1R 2J6, Canada.


Despite the importance of microRNAs (miRNAs) in gene regulation, it is unclear how the miRNA-Argonaute complex--or miRNA-induced silencing complex (miRISC)--can regulate the translation of their targets in such diverse ways. We demonstrate here a direct interaction between the miRISC and the ribosome by showing that a constituent of the eukaryotic 40S subunit, receptor for activated C-kinase (RACK1), is important for miRNA-mediated gene regulation in animals. In vivo studies demonstrate that RACK1 interacts with components of the miRISC in nematodes and mammals. In both systems, the alteration of RACK1 expression alters miRNA function and impairs the association of the miRNA complex with the translating ribosomes. Our data indicate that RACK1 can contribute to the recruitment of miRISC to the site of translation, and support a post-initiation mode of miRNA-mediated gene repression.

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