E Hornstein, A Git, I Braunstein, D Avni, O Meyuhas
J Biol Chem
Poly(A)-binding protein (PABP) is an important regulator of gene expression that has been implicated in control of translation initiation. Here we report the isolation and the initial structural and functional characterization of the human PABP gene. Delineation of the promoter region revealed that it directs the initiation of transcription at consecutive C residues within a stretch of pyrimidines. A study of the translational behavior of the corresponding mRNA demonstrates that it is translationally repressed upon growth arrest of cultured mouse fibroblasts and translationally activated in regenerating rat liver. Furthermore, transfection experiments show that the first 32 nucleotides of PABP mRNA are sufficient to confer growth-dependent translational control on a heterologous mRNA. Substitution of the C residue at the cap site by purines abolishes the translational control of the chimeric mRNA. These features have established PABP mRNA as a new member of the terminal oligopyrimidine tract mRNA family. Members of this family are known to encode for components of the translational apparatus and to contain an oligopyrimidine tract at the 5' terminus (5'TOP). This motif mediates their translational control in a growth-dependent manner.