A helicase links upstream ORFs and RNA structure
Upstream open reading frames (uORFs) in 5′ UTRs of eukaryotic mRNAs are increasingly recognized as important elements that regulate cellular protein synthesis. Since uORFs can start from non-AUG codons, an enormous number of potential uORF initiation sites exists in 5′UTRs. However, only a subset of these sites is used and it has been unclear how actual start sites are selected. Studies of the DEAD-box helicase Ded1p from S. cerevisiae show that translation of uORFs with non-AUG initiation codons occurs upstream of mRNA structures that emerge with defective Ded1p. The data designate mRNA structure as important determinant for non-AUG initiation sites of uORFs. Ded1p can control this RNA structure and thereby regulate uORF translation.
KeywordsuORF Ribosome profiling RNA structure Helicase Translation CLIP DEAD-box Riboswitch Yeast Meiosis Near-cognate codon
Work in our laboratory is supported by the NIH (GM118088 to E.J.).
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