The upstream open reading frame of the mRNA encoding S- adenosylmethionine decarboxylase is a polyamine-responsive translational control element

Hangjun Ruan, Lisa Shantz, Anthony Pegg, David R. Morris

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S-Adenosylmethionine decarboxylase (AdoMetDC) is a key enzyme in the pathway of polyamine biosynthesis. The cellular levels of the polyamines specifically regulate AdoMetDC translation through the 5'-leader of the mRNA, which contains a small upstream open reading frame (uORF) 14 nucleotides from the cap. Mutating the initiation codon of the uORF, which encodes a peptide product with the sequence MAGDIS, abolished regulation. In addition, the uORF is sufficient, by itself, to provide polyamine regulation when inserted into the 5'-leader of the human growth hormone mRNA. Changing the amino acid sequence at the carboxyl terminus of the peptide product of the uORF abolished polyamine regulation. In contrast, altering the nucleotide sequence of the uORF at degenerate positions, without changing the amino acid sequence of the peptide, did not affect regulation. Extending the distance between cap and uORF, thereby changing the rate of initiation at the initiator AUG of the uORF, did not alter polyamine regulation. When the uORF was extended so as to overlap, out of frame, the downstream major cistron, polyamine regulation was abolished. We propose that polyamines do not modulate the rate of recognition of the uORF but rather regulate interaction of the peptide product of the uORF with its target.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29576-29582
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number47
StatePublished - Nov 30 1996


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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