Current Genetics

, Volume 65, Issue 2, pp 453–456 | Cite as

A helicase links upstream ORFs and RNA structure

  • Eckhard JankowskyEmail author
  • Ulf-Peter Guenther


Upstream open reading frames (uORFs) in 5′ UTRs of eukaryotic mRNAs are increasingly recognized as important elements that regulate cellular protein synthesis. Since uORFs can start from non-AUG codons, an enormous number of potential uORF initiation sites exists in 5′UTRs. However, only a subset of these sites is used and it has been unclear how actual start sites are selected. Studies of the DEAD-box helicase Ded1p from S. cerevisiae show that translation of uORFs with non-AUG initiation codons occurs upstream of mRNA structures that emerge with defective Ded1p. The data designate mRNA structure as important determinant for non-AUG initiation sites of uORFs. Ded1p can control this RNA structure and thereby regulate uORF translation.


uORF Ribosome profiling RNA structure Helicase Translation CLIP DEAD-box Riboswitch Yeast Meiosis Near-cognate codon 



Work in our laboratory is supported by the NIH (GM118088 to E.J.).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for RNA Science and Therapeutics, School of MedicineCase Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA
  2. 2.EMBLHeidelbergGermany

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