Translational control provides numerous advantages in regulation of gene expression including rapid responsiveness, intracellular localization, nondestruction of template mRNA, and coordinated regulation of transcript ensembles. Transcript-selective, translational control is driven by the specific interaction of factor(s) with the 5' or 3' untranslated region (UTR), thereby influencing initiation, elongation, or termination of mRNA translation. The mean length of human 3'UTRs is greater than that of 5'UTR, indicating the expanded potential for motifs, structural elements, and binding sites for trans-acting factors that exert transcript-selective translation control. New and unexpected mechanisms of 3'UTR-mediated translational control and their contributions to disease have received increasing attention during the last decade. Here, we briefly review a few recent and representative discoveries of 3'UTR-mediated translational control, emphasizing the novel aspects of these regulatory mechanisms and their potential pathophysiological significance.
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