Start Codon Recognition in Eukaryotic and Archaeal Translation Initiation: A Common Structural Core

Abstract : Understanding molecular mechanisms of ribosomal translation sheds light on the emergence and evolution of protein synthesis in the three domains of life. Universally, ribosomal translation is described in three steps: initiation, elongation and termination. During initiation, a macromolecular complex assembled around the small ribosomal subunit selects the start codon on the mRNA and defines the open reading frame. In this review, we focus on the comparison of start codon selection mechanisms in eukaryotes and archaea. Eukaryotic translation initiation is a very complicated process, involving many initiation factors. The most widespread mechanism for the discovery of the start codon is the scanning of the mRNA by a pre-initiation complex until the first AUG codon in a correct context is found. In archaea, long-range scanning does not occur because of the presence of Shine-Dalgarno (SD) sequences or of short 5' untranslated regions. However, archaeal and eukaryotic translation initiations have three initiation factors in common: e/aIF1, e/aIF1A and e/aIF2 are directly involved in the selection of the start codon. Therefore, the idea that these archaeal and eukaryotic factors fulfill similar functions within a common structural ribosomal core complex has emerged. A divergence between eukaryotic and archaeal factors allowed for the adaptation to the long-range scanning process versus the SD mediated prepositioning of the ribosome.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 9:08:06 AM
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Emmanuelle Schmitt, Pierre-Damien Coureux, Auriane Monestier, Etienne Dubiez, Yves Mechulam. Start Codon Recognition in Eukaryotic and Archaeal Translation Initiation: A Common Structural Core. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, MDPI, 2019, 20 (4), pp.939. ⟨10.3390/ijms20040939⟩. ⟨hal-02164363⟩

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