Send to

Choose Destination
EMBO J. 1997 Jul 1;16(13):4107-16.

A viral sequence in the 3'-untranslated region mimics a 5' cap in facilitating translation of uncapped mRNA.

Author information

Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology Program, Iowa State University, Ames 50011, USA.


For recognition by the translational machinery, most eukaryotic cellular mRNAs have a 5' cap structure [e.g. m7G(5')ppp(5')N]. We describe a translation enhancer sequence (3'TE) located in the 3'-untranslated region (UTR) of the genome of the PAV barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV-PAV) which stimulates translation from uncapped mRNA by 30- to 100-fold in vitro and in vivo to a level equal to that of efficient capped mRNAs. A four base duplication within the 3'TE destroyed the stimulatory activity. Efficient translation was recovered by addition of a 5' cap to this mRNA. Translation of both uncapped mRNA containing the 3'TE in cis and capped mRNA lacking any BYDV-PAV sequence was inhibited specifically by added 3'TE RNA in trans. This inhibition was reversed by adding initiation factor 4F (eIF4F), suggesting that the 3'TE, like the 5' cap, mediates eIF4F-dependent translation initiation. The BYDV-PAV 5'UTR was necessary for the 3'TE to function, except when the 3'TE itself was moved to the 5'UTR. Thus, the 3'TE is sufficient for recruiting the translation factors and ribosomes, while the viral 5'UTR may serve only for the long distance 3'-5' communication. Models are proposed to explain this novel mechanism of cap-independent translation initiation facilitated by the 3'UTR.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center