REVIEW: Translational control by 5′-untranslated regions of eukaryotic mRNAs

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The eukaryotic 5′ untranslated region (UTR) is critical for ribosome recruitment to the messenger RNA (mRNA) and start codon choice and plays a major role in the control of translation efficiency and shaping the cellular proteome. The ribosomal initiation complex is assembled on the mRNA via a cap-dependent or cap-independent mechanism. We describe various mechanisms controlling ribosome scanning and initiation codon selection by 5′ upstream open reading frames, translation initiation factors, and primary and secondary structures of the 5′UTR, including particular sequence motifs. We also discuss translational control via phosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor 2, which is implicated in learning and memory, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer.

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