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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Initiation of translation directed by 42S and 26S RNAs from Semliki Forest virus in vitro.

The proteins synthesized in vitro in response to 42S and 26S RNAs from Semliki Forest virus were labeled with formyl-[35S]methionine from initiator tRNA. One protein which comigrated with viral capsid protein was labeled under the direction of 26S RNA, and only one labeled peptide was detected after digestion with trypsin. Further digestion with pronase gave rise to the dipeptide fMet-AsN. Several labeled polypeptides were found in the 42S RNA directed product and these had molecular weights of up to 150,000. However, tryptic digestion of the product yielded only one formylmethionyl-labeled peptide, which had a different mobility from that directed by the 26S RNA. Further digestion with pronase gave a single dipeptide, fMet-Ala. This indicates that nonstructural proteins as large as 150,000 daltons are probably synthesized from one initiation site on the 42S RNA. Translation starting from the internal initiation site on the 42S RNA, which is equivalent to that on the 26S RNA, could not be detected under the conditions used. Internal initiation sites which are similarly inactive have also been detected in other viral RNAs (e.g., brome mosaic virus, tobacco mosaic virus, and polyoma 19S RNA) and this suggests that, although eukaryotic mRNAs can contain more than one initiation site for protein synthesis, only the site nearer the 5' terminus is active in vitro.[1]


  1. Initiation of translation directed by 42S and 26S RNAs from Semliki Forest virus in vitro. Glanville, N., Ranki, M., Morser, J., Kääriäinen, L., Smith, A.E. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1976) [Pubmed]
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