Quantitative studies of mRNA recruitment to the eukaryotic ribosome

Christopher S. Fraser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Abstract The process of peptide bond synthesis by ribosomes is conserved between species, but the initiation step differs greatly between the three kingdoms of life. This is illustrated by the evolution of roughly an order of magnitude more initiation factor mass found in humans compared with bacteria. Eukaryotic initiation of translation is comprised of a number of sub-steps: (i) recruitment of an mRNA and initiator methionyl-tRNA to the 40S ribosomal subunit; (ii) migration of the 40S subunit along the 5′ UTR to locate the initiation codon; and (iii) recruitment of the 60S subunit to form the 80S initiation complex. Although the mechanism and regulation of initiation has been studied for decades, many aspects of the pathway remain unclear. In this review, I will focus discussion on what is known about the mechanism of mRNA selection and its recruitment to the 40S subunit. I will summarize how the 43S preinitiation complex (PIC) is formed and stabilized by interactions between its components. I will discuss what is known about the mechanism of mRNA selection by the eukaryotic initiation factor 4F (eIF4F) complex and how the selected mRNA is recruited to the 43S PIC. The regulation of this process by secondary structure located in the 5′ UTR of an mRNA will also be discussed. Finally, I present a possible kinetic model with which to explain the process of mRNA selection and recruitment to the eukaryotic ribosome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4656
Pages (from-to)58-71
Number of pages14
StatePublished - Jun 3 2015


  • 43S PIC
  • eIF4F
  • mRNA recruitment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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