An mRNA-rRNA base-pairing mechanism for translation initiation in eukaryotes.

Nat Struct Mol Biol 2006 Jan 11;13(1):30-4. Epub 2005 Dec 11.

Department of Neurobiology, The Scripps Research Institute, and The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.

Base-pairing of messenger RNA to ribosomal RNA is a mechanism of translation initiation in prokaryotes. Although analogous base-pairing has been suggested to affect the translation of various eukaryotic mRNAs, direct evidence has been lacking. To test such base-pairing, we developed a yeast system that uses ribosomes containing a mouse-yeast hybrid 18S rRNA. Using this system, we demonstrate that a 9-nucleotide element found in the mouse Gtx homeodomain mRNA facilitates translation initiation by base-pairing to 18S rRNA. Various point mutations in the Gtx element and in either the hybrid or wild-type yeast 18S rRNAs confirmed the requirement for an intact complementary match. The presence of the Gtx element in various mRNAs suggests that this element affects the translation of groups of mRNAs. We discuss the possibility that other mRNA elements affect translation by base-pairing to different sites in the 18S rRNA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nsmb1031DOI Listing
January 2006
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