A number of stresses, including nutrient stress, temperature shock, DNA damage, and hypoxia, can lead to changes in gene expression patterns caused by a general shutdown and reprogramming of protein synthesis. Each of these stress conditions results in selective recruitment of ribosomes to mRNAs whose protein products are required for responding to stress. This recruitment is regulated by elements within the 5' and 3' untranslated regions of mRNAs, including internal ribosome entry segments, upstream open reading frames, and microRNA target sites. These elements can act singly or in combination and are themselves regulated by trans-acting factors. Translational reprogramming can result in increased life span, and conversely, deregulation of these translation pathways is associated with disease including cancer and diabetes.
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