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Translational Silencing of Ceruloplasmin Requires the Essential Elements of mRNA Circularization: Poly(A) Tail, Poly(A)-Binding Protein, and Eukaryotic Translation Initiation Factor 4G

American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
  • Gene Expression
  • Biology


Ceruloplasmin (Cp) is a glycoprotein secreted by the liver and monocytic cells and probably plays roles in inflammation and iron metabolism. We showed previously that gamma interferon (IFN-γ) induced Cp synthesis by human U937 monocytic cells but that the synthesis was subsequently halted by a transcript-specific translational silencing mechanism involving the binding of a cytosolic factor(s) to the Cp mRNA 3′ untranslated region (UTR). To investigate how protein interactions at the Cp 3′-UTR inhibit translation initiation at the distant 5′ end, we considered the “closed-loop” model of mRNA translation. In this model, the transcript termini are brought together by interactions of poly(A)-binding protein (PABP) with both the poly(A) tail and initiation factor eIF4G. The effect of these elements on Cp translational control was tested using chimeric reporter transcripts in rabbit reticulocyte lysates. The requirement for poly(A) was shown since the cytosolic inhibitor from IFN-γ-treated cells minimally inhibited the translation of a luciferase reporter upstream of the Cp 3′-UTR but almost completely blocked the translation of a transcript containing a poly(A) tail. Likewise, a requirement for poly(A) was shown for silencing of endogenous Cp mRNA. We considered the possibility that the cytosolic inhibitor blocked the interaction of PABP with the poly(A) tail or with eIF4G. We found that neither of these interactions were inhibited, as shown by immunoprecipitation of PABP followed by quantitation of the poly(A) tail by reverse transcription-PCR and of eIF4G by immunoblot analysis. We considered the alternate possibility that these interactions were required for translational silencing. When PABP was depleted from the reticulocyte lysate with anti-human PABP antibody, the cytosolic factor did not inhibit translation of the chimeric reporter, thus showing the requirement for PABP. Similarly, in lysates treated with anti-human eIF4G antibody, the cytosolic extract did not inhibit the translation of the chimeric reporter, thereby showing a requirement for eIF4G. These data show that translational silencing of Cp requires interactions of three essential elements of mRNA circularization, poly(A), PABP, and eIF4G. We suggest that Cp mRNA circularization brings the cytosolic Cp 3′-UTR-binding factor into the proximity of the translation initiation site, where it silences translation by an undetermined mechanism. These results suggest that in addition to its important function in increasing the efficiency of translation, transcript circularization may serve as an essential structural determinant for transcript-specific translational control.

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