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

The pivotal roles of the plant S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase 5' untranslated leader sequence in regulation of gene expression at the transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels.

S-Adenosylmethionine decarboxylase (SAMDC; EC is a key rate-limiting enzyme located in the polyamine biosynthesis pathway. When compared with other organisms, the plant SAMDC genes possess some distinct features because they are devoid of introns in the main open reading frame (ORF) but have an intron(s) in their 5' untranslated leader sequences, in which two overlapping tiny and small upstream ORFs (uORFs) are present. Our results show that the presence of the 5' leader sequence plays important roles in transcriptional and posttranscriptional regulation of SAMDC expression. This sequence may help to keep the transcript of its downstream cistron at a relatively low level and function together with its own promoter in response to external stimuli or internal changes of spermidine and spermine to initiate and regulate SAMDC expression. Under stress and high spermidine or spermine conditions, the tiny uORF shows the same function as its overlapping small uORF, which is involved in translational repression and feedback controlled by polyamines. The presence of introns is necessary for the SAMDC up-regulation process when the internal spermidine level is low. Our results suggest that plants have evolved one network to adjust SAMDC activity through their 5' leader sequences, through which transcriptional regulation is combined with an extensive posttranscriptional control circuit.[1]


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