The 3′ cap-independent translation element (BTE) of Barley yellow dwarf virus RNA confers efficient translation initiation at the 5′ end via long-distance base pairing with the 5′-untranslated region (UTR). Here we provide evidence that the BTE functions by recruiting translation initiation factor eIF4F. We show that the BTE interacts specifically with the cap-binding initiation factor complexes eIF4F and eIFiso4F in a wheat germ extract (wge). In wge depleted of cap-interacting factors, addition of eIF4F (and to a lesser extent, eIFiso4F) allowed efficient translation of an uncapped reporter construct (BLucB) containing the BTE in its 3′ UTR. Translation of BLucB required much lower levels of eIF4F or eIFiso4F than did a capped, nonviral mRNA. Both full-length eIF4G and the carboxy-terminal half of eIF4G lacking the eIF4E binding site stimulated translation to 70% of the level obtained with eIF4F, indicating a minor role for the cap-binding protein, eIF4E. In wge inhibited by either BTE in trans or cap analog, eIF4G alone restored translation nearly as much as eIF4F, while addition of eIF4E alone had no effect. The BTE bound eIF4G (Kd = 177 nm) and eIF4F (Kd = 37 nm) with high affinity, but very weakly to eIF4E. These interactions correlate with the ability of the factors to facilitate BTE-mediated translation. These results and previous observations are consistent with a model in which eIF4F is delivered to the 5′ UTR by the BTE, and they show that eIF4G, but not eIF4E, plays a major role in this novel mechanism of cap-independent translation.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/wallen_miller/16/