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Arabidopsis Book. 2013 Jul 18;11:e0165. doi: 10.1199/tab.0165. Print 2013.

Translational Regulation of Cytoplasmic mRNAs.

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Department of Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-0840 ; Current address: University of Massachussetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01655-0122, USA.


Translation of the coding potential of a messenger RNA into a protein molecule is a fundamental process in all living cells and consumes a large fraction of metabolites and energy resources in growing cells. Moreover, translation has emerged as an important control point in the regulation of gene expression. At the level of gene regulation, translational control is utilized to support the specific life histories of plants, in particular their responses to the abiotic environment and to metabolites. This review summarizes the diversity of translational control mechanisms in the plant cytoplasm, focusing on specific cases where mechanisms of translational control have evolved to complement or eclipse other levels of gene regulation. We begin by introducing essential features of the translation apparatus. We summarize early evidence for translational control from the pre-Arabidopsis era. Next, we review evidence for translation control in response to stress, to metabolites, and in development. The following section emphasizes RNA sequence elements and biochemical processes that regulate translation. We close with a chapter on the role of signaling pathways that impinge on translation.

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