Send to

Choose Destination
Biochimie. 1994;76(9):880-6.

Regulation and function of non-AUG-initiated proto-oncogenes.

Author information

Department of Cell Biology, Vanderbilt University, School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 37232-2175.


A small, yet growing, number of cellular eukaryotic mRNAs encoding important regulatory proteins, such as c-myc and other proto-oncogenes, initiate translation from a non-AUG codon, usually in addition to initiating at a downstream AUG. The efficiency of non-AUG initiation on these natural cellular mRNAs varies considerably and appears to be governed by several features, including the codon sequence, the context surrounding the codon and the secondary structure of the transcript. In addition to factors which control the overall efficiency of c-myc non-AUG initiation, the relative efficiency of the upstream non-AUG initiation compared with the AUG initiation changes during the growth of cells. As lymphoid and fibroblast cells approach high densities in culture there is a sustained 5-10-fold induction in the synthesis of the non-AUG-initiated c-Myc 1 protein to levels comparable to or greater than the AUG-initiated c-Myc 2 protein. This increased efficiency of c-myc non-AUG initiation, due to methionine depletion of the growth medium, suggests that the scanning preinitiation complex can be regulated to enhance the recognition of a suboptimal non-AUG codon. The significance of non-AUG initiation for the growth-regulatory genes is illustrated by the different localizations of the int-2, bFGF and hck non-AUG-initiated proteins, the disruption of the c-myc and lyl-1 non-AUG initiation in tumor-derived cell lines, and the distinct biological function of the non-AUG-initiated forms of bFGF.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center