In animals, key functions of microRNA-induced silencing complex (miRISC) are translational repression and deadenylation followed by mRNA decay. While miRISC represses translation initiation, it is poorly understood how miRISC exerts this function. Here we assessed the effect of miRISC on synergistic recruitment of translation initiation factors to target mRNAs by using direct biochemical assays. We show that miRISC promotes eIF4AI and eIF4AII release from target mRNAs prior to dissociation of eIF4E and eIF4G in a deadenylation-independent manner. Strikingly, miRISC-induced release of eIF4AI and eIF4AII from target mRNAs and miRISC-induced inhibition of cap-dependent translation can both be counteracted by the RNA-binding protein HuD via a direct interaction of HuD with eIF4A. Furthermore, the pharmacological eIF4A inhibitor silvestrol, which locks eIF4A on mRNAs, conferred resistance to miRNA-mediated translational repression. In summary, we propose that both eIF4AI and eIF4AII are functionally important targets in miRISC-mediated translation control.
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