Involvement of Nucleotides in Protein Synthesis Initiation

  • William C. Merrick
  • Richard D. Abramson
  • Donald D. AnthonyJr.
  • Thomas E. Dever
  • Angela M. Caliendo


The process of protein synthesis initiation in eukaryotes is very complex, requiring more than a dozen factors made up of over 30 polypeptide chains. This process is outlined in Fig. 1, and some of the physical characteristics of the initiation factors are listed in Table I. These summaries represent the efforts of many laboratories, and the reader is referred to several recent reviews1–5 to obtain a more detailed description of the entire process that requires binding of the initiator Met-transfer RNA (tRNA) and messenger RNA (mRNA) to 40 S ribosomal subunits followed by the addition of the 60 S subunit to yield an 80 S initiation complex. The purpose of this chapter is to focus more on the nucleotide requirements for the process of initiation, the requirement for GTP to bind the initiator tRNA, and the requirement for ATP to bind mRNA to 40 S ribosomal subunits. The chapter presents results that have been obtained with mammalian systems (rabbit reticulocytes or HeLa cells) that are thought in general to reflect the properties of components of the eukaryotic translational machinery. While in large part this seems to be true, it is clear that several minor differences do exist between mammalian systems and yeast, wheat germ, or brine shrimp. The data presented from our laboratory were obtained through the use exclusively of rabbit reticulocyte proteins.


Globin mRNA Protein Synthesis Initiation 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • William C. Merrick
    • 1
  • Richard D. Abramson
    • 1
  • Donald D. AnthonyJr.
    • 1
  • Thomas E. Dever
    • 1
  • Angela M. Caliendo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryCase Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA

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