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EMBO J. 1990 Jun;9(6):1697-707.

Positive and negative control of translation by the leader sequence of cauliflower mosaic virus pregenomic 35S RNA.

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Friedrich Miescher-Institut, Basel, Switzerland.


We have studied the influence of the 600 nt long leader sequence of cauliflower mosaic virus 35S RNA on downstream translation. Plant protoplasts were transfected with plasmids expressing a CAT reporter gene from a mRNA, containing wild-type or mutant forms of the 35S RNA leader. Deletion analysis revealed the presence of three separate stimulatory sequence regions, S1, S2 and S3. The latter two interact with each other to enhance downstream translation 5- to 10-fold. This enhancement was not observed in protoplasts from a non-host plant. In the absence of either S2 or S3, the region I2, located in between, exerts an inhibitory effect on downstream translation, probably due to the presence of short open reading frames. Expression of a reporter gene inserted into I2 increases 2-fold upon deletion of either S2 or S3. We propose that mRNA regions S2 and S3 form a complex with cellular factors that allows scanning ribosomes to bypass region I2.

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