EIF4B has been implicated in attachment of the 43 S preinitiation complex (PIC) to mRNAs and scanning to the start codon. We recently determined that the internal seven repeats (of ∼26 amino acids each) of Saccharomyces cerevisiae eIF4B (yeIF4B) compose the region most critically required to enhance mRNA recruitment by 43 S PICs in vitro and stimulate general translation initiation in yeast. Moreover, although the N-terminal domain (NTD) of yeIF4B contributes to these activities, the RNA recognition motif is dispensable. We have now determined that only two of the seven internal repeats are sufficient for wildtype (WT) yeIF4B function in vivo when all other domains are intact. However, three or more repeats are needed in the absence of the NTD or when the functions of eIF4F components are compromised. We corroborated these observations in the reconstituted system by demonstrating that yeIF4B variants with only one or two repeats display substantial activity in promoting mRNA recruitment by the PIC, whereas additional repeats are required at lower levels of eIF4A or when the NTD is missing. These findings indicate functional overlap among the 7-repeats and NTD domains of yeIF4B and eIF4A in mRNA recruitment. Interestingly, only three highly conserved positions in the 26-amino acid repeat are essential for function in vitro and in vivo. Finally, we identified conserved motifs in the NTD and demonstrate functional overlap of two such motifs. These results provide a comprehensive description of the critical sequence elements in yeIF4B that support eIF4F function in mRNA recruitment by the PIC.
Zhou, Fujun, et al. “Identification and Characterization of Functionally Critical, Conserved Motifs in the Internal Repeats and N-Terminal Domain of Yeast Translation Initiation Factor 4B (YeIF4B).” The Journal of Biological Chemistry, vol. 289, no. 3, Jan. 2014, pp. 1704–1722. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1074/jbc.M113.529370.