The Role of Ribosomal RNA in the Control of Gene Expression

  • Matthew A. Firpo
  • Albert E. Dahlberg
Conference paper
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 49)


It is now accepted that ribosomal RNA (rRNA) has an important functional role during the translation of messenger RNA (mRNA). There is evidence for base paired interactions between mRNA and rRNA during initiation, elongation and termination. At initiation the relative level of translation of different mRNAs is determined, in part, by the complementarity between the Shine-Dalgarno sequence of the mRNA and the Anti-Shine-Dalgarno sequence near the 3′ end of 16S rRNA. Several groups have proposed that other regions of 16S rRNA may be involved in similar base paired interactions with mRNA prior to initiation to selectively enhance translation of particular mRNAs. Here we summarize the current data on translational enhancers and identify the proposed sites in 16S rRNA to which they might base pair. The data are presented in a model of the 30S subunit showing a potential pathway for mRNA as it passes over putative rRNA-mRNA contact points during the mRNA selection process, as well as during translation.


Ribosome Binding Site Enhancer Sequence Important Functional Role Base Paired Interaction Translational Enhancer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew A. Firpo
    • 1
  • Albert E. Dahlberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Section of BiochemistryBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA

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