mRNAs containing extensive secondary structure in their 5' non-coding region translate efficiently in cells overexpressing initiation factor eIF-4E

EMBO J. 1992 Nov;11(11):4153-8. doi: 10.1002/j.1460-2075.1992.tb05508.x.


Cellular eukaryotic mRNAs (except organellar) contain at the 5' terminus the structure m7(5')Gppp(5')N (where N is any nucleotide), termed cap. Cap recognition by eukaryotic initiation factor eIF-4F plays an important role in regulating the overall rate of translation. eIF-4F is believed to mediate the melting of mRNA 5' end secondary structure and facilitate 43S ribosome binding to capped mRNAs. eIF-4E, the cap-binding subunit of eIF-4F, plays an important role in cell growth; its overexpression results in malignant transformation of rodent cells, and its phosphorylation is implicated in signal transduction pathways of mitogens and growth factors. The molecular mechanism by which eIF-4E transforms cells is not known. Here, we report that overexpression of eIF-4E facilitates the translation of mRNAs containing excessive secondary structure in their 5' non-coding region. This effect may represent one mechanism by which eIF-4E regulates cell growth and transforms cells in culture.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3T3 Cells
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Southern
  • DNA / isolation & purification
  • DNA / metabolism*
  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-4E
  • Gene Expression
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides
  • Peptide Initiation Factors / genetics
  • Peptide Initiation Factors / metabolism*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Plasmids
  • Protein Biosynthesis*
  • RNA Caps / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Serine
  • Transfection


  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-4E
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides
  • Peptide Initiation Factors
  • RNA Caps
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Serine
  • DNA