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Selection of the AUG start codon is a key step in translation initiation requiring hydrolysis of GTP in the eIF2·GTP·Met-tRNA iMet ternary complex (TC) and subsequent Pi release from eIF2·GDP·Pi. It is thought that eIF1 prevents recognition of non-AUGs by promoting scanning and blocking P i release at non-AUG codons. We show that Sui? mutations in Saccharomyces cerevisiae eIF1, which increase initiation at UUG codons, reduce interaction of eIF1 with 40S subunits in vitro and in vivo, and both defects are diminished in cells by overexpressing the mutant proteins. Remarkably, Sui? mutation ISQLG93-97ASQAA (abbreviated 93-97) accelerates eIF1 dissociation and Pi release from reconstituted preinitiation complexes (PICs), whereas a hyperaccuracy mutation in eIF1A (that suppresses Sui? mutations) decreases the eIF1 off-rate. These findings demonstrate that eIF1 dissociation is a critical step in start codon selection, which is modulated by eIF1A. We also describe Gcd? mutations in eIF1 that impair TC loading on 40S subunits or destabilize the multifactor complex containing eIF1, eIF3, eIF5, and TC, showing that eIF1 promotes PIC assembly in vivo beyond its important functions in AUG selection.

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Cheung, Yuen-Nei et al. “Dissociation of eIF1 from the 40S ribosomal subunit is a key step in start codon selection in vivo.” Genes & development vol. 21,10 (2007): 1217-30. doi:10.1101/gad.1528307

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