Stress-induced start codon fidelity regulates arseniteinducible regulatory particle-associated protein (AIRAP) translation

Lolita Zach, Ilana Braunstein, Ariel Stanhill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Initial steps in protein synthesis are highly regulated processes as they define the reading frame of the translation machinery. Eukaryotic translation initiation is a process facilitated by numerous factors (eIFs), aimed to form a "scanning" mechanism toward the initiation codon. Translation initiation of the main open reading frame (ORF) in an mRNA transcript has been reported to be regulated by upstream open reading frames (uORFs) in a manner of re-initiation. This mode of regulation is governed by the phosphorylation status of eIF2α and controlled by cellular stresses. Another mode of translational initiation regulation is leaky scanning, and this regulatory process has not been extensively studied. We have identified arseniteinducible regulatory particle-associated protein (AIRAP) transcript to be translationally induced during arsenite stress conditions. AIRAP transcript contains a single uORF in a poor-kozak context. AIRAP translation induction is governed by means of leaky scanning and not re-initiation. This induction of AIRAP is solely dependent on eIF1 and the uORF kozak context. We show that eIF1 is phosphorylated under specific conditions that induce protein misfolding and have biochemically characterized this site of phosphorylation. Our data indicate that leaky scanning like re-initiation is responsive to stress conditions and that leaky scanning can induce ORF translation by bypassing poor kozak context of a single uORF transcript.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20706-20716
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number30
StatePublished - 25 Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes


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