Destabilization of messenger RNA/complementary DNA duplexes by the elongating 80 S ribosome

S. H. Shakin, S. A. Liebhaber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In a previous study, we demonstrated that the ability of a cDNA fragment to hybrid-arrest the translation of its complementary mRNA in rabbit reticulocyte lysate depends on the position of the mRNA/cDNA duplex within the mRNA molecule. In the present report, we further characterize the mechanisms involved in the destabilization and subsequent translation of mRNA/cDNA hybrids by mapping in detail the positional dependence of hybrid-arrested translation of the human α- and β-globin mRNAs and by directly assessing the stability of mRNA/cDNA duplexes in reticulocyte lysate under a variety of translational conditions. The mapping studies in this report demonstrate that the translation of a hybridized mRNA requires exposure of the 5' nontranslated region and the AUG initiation codon, as well as those bases 3' to the AUG which are typically protected by an initiating 80 S ribosome. The translation of these mRNA/cDNA hybrids is associated with the complete removal of cDNA from the mRNA coding region; this disruption of the mRNA/cDNA duplex is blocked by inhibitors of translational initiation and elongation. cDNAs which extend into the 3' non-translated region remain associated with the mRNA during normal translation but are completely removed from the mRNA during translation if translational termination is suppressed. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that the disruption of mRNA/cDNA duplexes in rabbit reticulocyte lysate is tightly linked to the assembly and migration of 80 S ribosomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16018-16025
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number34
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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