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Effect of tandem repeated AUG codons on translation efficiency of eukaryotic mRNA carrying a short leader sequence

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The effect on translation of multiple copies of the initiation codon AUG at the initiation site in a eukaryotic mRNA carrying a short leader sequence was tested in translation experiments in vitro. DNA, corresponding to a chimeric mRNA sequence consisting of the 5′ leader region of brome mosaic virus (BMV) RNA4 and the goat pre-α-lactalbumin mRNA sequence, was prepared and transcribed in vitro using SP6 RNA polymerase. Site-directed mutagenesis was carried out to change the sequence around the initiation codon AUG. In a wheat germ translation system, the yield of protein obtained using the mRNA with a duplication of the AUG codons at the initiation site was 1.6 times that achieved when only one AUG was present. The rate of formation of the 80S initiation complex was measured by the ribosome binding assay using cycloheximide. A good correlation was observed between the ability to form the complex and translation efficiency.

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Correspondence to Kin-ichiro Miura.

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Communicated by M. Sekiguchi

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Wakiyama, M., Hirao, I., Kumagai, I. et al. Effect of tandem repeated AUG codons on translation efficiency of eukaryotic mRNA carrying a short leader sequence. Molec. Gen. Genet. 238, 59–64 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00279531

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Key words

  • Eukaryotic mRNA
  • Initiation codon AUG
  • In vitro translation
  • Translation efficiency