eIF4A is a DEAD-box RNA-dependent ATPase thought to unwind RNA secondary structure in the 5'-untranslated regions (UTRs) of mRNAs to promote their recruitment to the eukaryotic translation pre-initiation complex (PIC). We show that eIF4A’s ATPase activity is markedly stimulated in the presence of the PIC, independently of eIF4E•eIF4G, but dependent on subunits i and g of the heteromeric eIF3 complex. Surprisingly, eIF4A accelerated the rate of recruitment of all mRNAs tested, regardless of their degree of structural complexity. Structures in the 5'-UTR and 3' of the start codon synergistically inhibit mRNA recruitment in a manner relieved by eIF4A, indicating that the factor does not act solely to melt hairpins in 5'-UTRs. Our findings that eIF4A functionally interacts with the PIC and plays important roles beyond unwinding 5’-UTR structure is consistent with a recent proposal that eIF4A modulates the conformation of the 40S ribosomal subunit to promote mRNA recruitment.
- Paul Yourik
- Colin Echeverría Aitken
- Fujun Zhou
- Neha Gupta
- Alan G. Hinnebusch
- Jon R Lorsch
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Nahum Sonenberg, McGill University, Canada
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