The amazing diversity of cap-independent translation elements in the 3'-untranslated regions of plant viral RNAs


Publication Type:

Journal Article


Biochem Soc Trans, Volume 35, Number Pt 6, p.1629-33 (2007)


0300-5127 (Print)<br/>0300-5127 (Linking)

Accession Number:



3' Untranslated Regions/chemistry/classification/ genetics, Base Sequence, Models, Genetic, Molecular Sequence Data, Plant Viruses/classification/ genetics, RNA, Messenger/chemistry/classification/ genetics, RNA, Viral/chemistry/classification/ genetics, Transcription, Genetic


Many plant viral RNAs lack the 5'-cap structure that is required on all host mRNAs for interacting with essential translation initiation factors. Instead, uncapped viral RNAs take over the host translation machinery by harbouring sequences that functionally replace the 5'-cap. Recent reports reveal at least eight different classes of CITE (cap-independent translation element) located in the 3'-UTRs (untranslated regions) of various viruses. We describe how the structure and behaviour of each class of element differs from the other classes, suggesting that they recruit translation factors and, ultimately, the ribosome by diverse mechanisms. These results greatly expand our understanding of ways in which mRNAs can recruit ribosomes, and they provide insight into the regulation of virus gene expression.


Miller, W A<br/>Wang, Z<br/>Treder, K<br/>GM067104/GM/NIGMS NIH HHS/United States<br/>R01 GM067104/GM/NIGMS NIH HHS/United States<br/>R01 GM067104-04/GM/NIGMS NIH HHS/United States<br/>Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural<br/>Review<br/>England<br/>Biochem Soc Trans. 2007 Dec;35(Pt 6):1629-33.