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Eur J Biochem. 1996 Aug 1;239(3):597-601.

Analysis of the mRNA cap-binding ability of human eukaryotic initiation factor-4E by use of recombinant wild-type and mutant forms.

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1
Department of Physical Chemistry, Osaka University of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Japan.

Abstract

In order to identify the amino acid residues necessary for the selective recognition of the mRNA cap structure by human eukaryotic initiation factor-4E (eIF-4E), which plays a central role in the first step of mRNA translation, we prepared recombinant wild-type and fourteen mutant forms and compared their cap-binding abilities by affinity chromatography. By the direct expression of a synthetic gene encoding human eIF-4E as the soluble form in Escherichia coli and the application on a 7-methylguanosine-5'-triphosphate-Sepharose 4B cap affinity column, pure recombinant eIF-4E was prepared; the optimum pH for the binding of the mRNA cap was 7.5. Among the amino acid residues conserved among various eIF-4E species, each of 14 functional residues was replaced with a nonpolar amino acid (alanine or leucine). All mutant eIF-4E genes, which were constructed by site-directed mutagenesis, were expressed in the same way as the wild type, and their cap-binding abilities were compared with that of the wild type. Consequently, all eight tryptophan residues. Glu103, and two histidine residues at positions 37 and 200 in human recombinant eIF-4E were suggested to be important for the recognition of the mRNA cap structure through direct interaction and/or indirect contributions. Indirect contributions included the construction of the overall protein structure, especially the cap-binding pocket.

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