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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 1997 Apr;7(2):233-41.

Translational controls impinging on the 5'-untranslated region and initiation factor proteins.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge, CB2 1QW, UK.


Translation of eukaryotic mRNAs is generally initiated by the scanning ribosome mechanism. This can be downregulated by high affinity protein binding to cap-proximal RNA motifs. Translation can also be regulated by short open reading frames within the 5' -untranslated region. A key factor for initiation is elF4F, in which one of the polypeptide chains, elF4G, seems to have a bridging function and binds three other factors at separate sites: elF4E (the cap-binding factor), the helicase elF4A, and elF3, which also interacts with 40S ribosomal subunits. Initiation is regulated by the MAP kinase and rapamycin-sensitive signalling pathways, which control phosphorylation of elF4E and 4E-BP1, a protein which in the dephosphorylated form binds and sequesters elF4E.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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