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

eIF4G functionally differs from eIFiso4G in promoting internal initiation, cap-independent translation, and translation of structured mRNAs.

Eukaryotic initiation factor (eIF) 4G plays an important role in assembling the initiation complex required for ribosome binding to an mRNA. Plants, animals, and yeast each express two eIF4G homologs, which share only 30, 46, and 53% identity, respectively. We have examined the functional differences between plant eIF4G proteins, referred to as eIF4G and eIFiso4G, when present as subunits of eIF4F and eIFiso4F, respectively. The degree to which a 5'-cap stimulated translation was inversely correlated with the concentration of eIF4F or eIFiso4F and required the poly(A)-binding protein for optimal function. Although eIF4F and eIFiso4F directed translation of unstructured mRNAs, eIF4F supported translation of an mRNA containing 5'-proximal secondary structure substantially better than did eIFiso4F. Moreover, eIF4F stimulated translation from uncapped monocistronic or dicistronic mRNAs to a greater extent than did eIFiso4F. These data suggest that at least some functions of plant eIFiso4F and eIF4F have diverged in that eIFiso4F promotes translation preferentially from unstructured mRNAs, whereas eIF4F can promote translation also from mRNAs that contain a structured 5'-leader and that are uncapped or contain multiple cistrons. This ability may also enable eIF4F to promote translation from standard mRNAs under cellular conditions in which cap-dependent translation is inhibited.[1]


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