The Role of Messenger RNA Sequences and Structures in Eukaryotic Translation

  • Thomas Laz
  • John Clements
  • Fred Sherman


Translation of messenger RNA (mRNA) into proteins on ribosomes is a universal process that occurs in all organisms. While the overall process is more or less similar, there are significant differences between prokaryotes and eukaryotes and possibly between lower and higher eukaryotes. In contrast to prokaryotic mRNA, eukaryotic mRNAs undergo extensive modifications, including the addition of a 5′-terminal cap, internal methylation, and the addition of a polyadenylated tail. The translational machinery in eukaryotic translation involves more initiation factors as well as an association with protein as a ribonucleoprotein particle. The vast majority of eukaryotic mRNAs are monocistronic, and binding of the ribosomes appears to begin at the beginning of the message. In contrast, prokaryotic mRNAs are usually polycistronic, and ribosomes can bind internally.


Initiation Codon High Eukaryote Termination Codon Hairpin Structure Poor Context 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Laz
    • 1
  • John Clements
    • 2
  • Fred Sherman
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiophysicsUniversity of Rochester School of Medicine and DentistryRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of Rochester School of Medicine and DentistryRochesterUSA

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