A uniquely conserved regulatory signal is found around the translation initiation site in three different collagen genes.

Y. Yamada, Maria Mudryj, B. de Crombrugghe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


We have determined the nucleotide sequence of the 5' untranslated region and the sequence encoding the signal peptide for mRNAs of the chick alpha 1 type I and alpha 1 type III collagen. These sequences were obtained by synthesizing the corresponding cDNAs using as primers either a synthetic oligonucleotide to prime alpha 1 type I cDNA or a DNA fragment isolated from a genomic clone coding for alpha 1 type III collagen to prime the cognate cDNA. Both primers were selected so that the resulting cDNAs would be short and would contain sequence information for the 5' untranslated region and the signal peptide of the proteins. The nucleotide sequences of these cDNAs were compared with the corresponding sequence of alpha 2 type I collagen. In each mRNA the 5' untranslated segment is approximately 130 nucleotides and contains two or more AUG triplets preceding the AUG which serves as a translation initiation codon. A sequence of about 50 nucleotides surrounding the translation initiation codon is remarkably conserved in all three mRNAs, whereas the sequences preceding and following this segment diverge markedly. This homologous sequence contains an almost identical inverted repeat sequence which could form a stable stem-loop structure. The initiation codon and the AUG which precedes it are found at the same place within this symmetrical sequence and the distance between them is invariant. The rest of the conserved sequence shows a less perfect symmetry. This conserved sequence has not been found in other genes. Our data suggest that these three and perhaps other collagen genes contain an identical regulatory signal that may play a role in determining the level of expression of these genes by modulating translational efficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14914-14919
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 25 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'A uniquely conserved regulatory signal is found around the translation initiation site in three different collagen genes.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this