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

Translation initiation factors that function as RNA helicases from mammals, plants and yeast.

Ribosome binding to eukaryotic mRNAs requires the concerted action of three eukaryotic initiation factors: eIF-4A, eIF-4B and eIF-4F as well as the hydrolysis of ATP. These initiation factors are implicated in the unwinding of mRNA 5' secondary structure and have been isolated from mammals, yeast and wheat germ. We used an RNA unwinding assay to compare the activities of these factors from the different species. We also measured the inter-species interchangeability of these factors in the unwinding reaction. In mammals, it has been previously shown that a combination of rabbit reticulocyte eIF-4F and -4B or eIF-4A and -4B were active in the RNA unwinding assay. In wheat germ, the combination of eIF-4A and eIF-4F resulted in RNA unwinding in a reaction that was stimulated by eIF-4B. Mammalian eIF-4A was able to substitute in this system. We also show that yeast eIF-4A is able to effectively substitute for mammalian eIF-4A in duplex RNA unwinding in combination with mammalian eIF-4B, while wheat-germ eIF-4A was only partially able to substitute. Taken together, these results suggest that initiation factor requirements for RNA unwinding are largely similar in mammals, yeast and plants.[1]


  1. Translation initiation factors that function as RNA helicases from mammals, plants and yeast. Jaramillo, M., Browning, K., Dever, T.E., Blum, S., Trachsel, H., Merrick, W.C., Ravel, J.M., Sonenberg, N. Biochim. Biophys. Acta (1990) [Pubmed]
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