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

IRES-mediated functional coupling of transcription and translation amplifies insulin receptor feedback.

It is generally accepted that the growth rate of an organism is modulated by the availability of nutrients. One common mechanism to control cellular growth is through the global down-regulation of cap-dependent translation by eIF4E-binding proteins (4E-BPs). Here, we report evidence for a novel mechanism that allows eukaryotes to coordinate and selectively couple transcription and translation of target genes in response to a nutrient and growth signaling cascade. The Drosophila insulin-like receptor (dINR) pathway incorporates 4E-BP resistant cellular internal ribosome entry site (IRES) containing mRNAs, to functionally couple transcriptional activation with differential translational control in a cell that is otherwise translationally repressed by 4E-BP. Although examples of cellular IRESs have been previously reported, their critical role mediating a key physiological response has not been well documented. Our studies reveal an integrated transcriptional and translational response mechanism specifically dependent on a cellular IRES that coordinates an essential physiological signal responsible for monitoring nutrient and cell growth conditions.[1]


  1. IRES-mediated functional coupling of transcription and translation amplifies insulin receptor feedback. Marr, M.T., D'Alessio, J.A., Puig, O., Tjian, R. Genes Dev. (2007) [Pubmed]
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