eIF3j Is Located in the Decoding Center of the Human 40S Ribosomal Subunit

Christopher S. Fraser, Katherine E. Berry, John W B Hershey, Jennifer A. Doudna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Protein synthesis in all cells begins with the ordered binding of the small ribosomal subunit to messenger RNA (mRNA) and transfer RNA (tRNA). In eukaryotes, translation initiation factor 3 (eIF3) is thought to play an essential role in this process by influencing mRNA and tRNA binding through indirect interactions on the backside of the 40S subunit. Here we show by directed hydroxyl radical probing that the human eIF3 subunit eIF3j binds to the aminoacyl (A) site and mRNA entry channel of the 40S subunit, placing eIF3j directly in the ribosomal decoding center. eIF3j also interacts with eIF1A and reduces 40S subunit affinity for mRNA. A high affinity for mRNA is restored upon recruitment of initiator tRNA, even though eIF3j remains in the mRNA-binding cleft in the presence of tRNA. These results suggest that eIF3j functions in part by regulating access of the mRNA-binding cleft in response to initiation factor binding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)811-819
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Cell
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 22 2007


  • RNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology


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