Poly(A)-binding protein is differentially required for translation mediated by viral internal ribosome entry sites

Shelton S. Bradrick, Elena Y. Dobrikova, Constanze Kaiser, Mayya Shveygert, Matthias Gromeier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The 3′ poly(A) tail present on the majority of mature eukaryotic mRNAs is an important regulator of protein synthesis and mRNA stability. The poly(A) tail improves the efficiency of translation initiation through recruitment of PABP, enabling its interaction with eIF4F located at the mRNA 5′-end. Recent evidence has also implicated a possible role for PABP and the poly(A) tract in translation control at steps beyond the initiation phase. Similar to conventional mRNAs, plus-strand RNA virus genomes that utilize internal ribosome entry sites (IRESes) to promote cap-independent translation are influenced by PABP and poly(A) status. However, the relative contribution of these factors to translation initiation mediated by distinct IRESes is unclear. We have investigated cis- and trans-acting effects of poly(A) and PABP, respectively, on RNAs harboring IRESes from three diverse viruses: encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and coxsackievirus B3 (CBV3). A 3′ poly(A) tract enhanced translation of both capped and IRES-containing reporter RNAs. However, only CBV3 and capped transcripts were stabilized as a result of polyadenylation. Correspondingly, translation of polyadenylated CBV3 and capped RNAs displayed heightened sensitivity to the PABP inhibitor Paip2 compared with EMCV and HCV. Sucrose density gradient analyses suggested a stimulatory role for PABP and 3′ poly(A) in the CBV3 initiation phase, while assembly of HCV and EMCV RNAs into ribosomal complexes was little affected by either factor. Collectively, the observed differential effects of PABP and poly(A) on translation imply mechanistic differences between viral IRES elements and suggest modulating roles for PABP and the poly(A) tail at multiple phases of translation. Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1582-1593
Number of pages12
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • IRES
  • Poly(A)-binding protein
  • RNA decay
  • Translation initiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology


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