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Mol Cell Biol. 1997 December; 17(12): 6940–6947.
PMCID: PMC232551

Human eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4G (eIF4G) possesses two separate and independent binding sites for eIF4A.


Mammalian translation initiation factor 4F (eIF4F) consists of three subunits, eIF4A, eIF4E, and eIF4G. eIF4G interacts directly with both eIF4A and eIF4E. The binding site for eIF4E is contained in the amino-terminal third of eIF4G, while the binding site for eIF4A was mapped to the carboxy-terminal third of the molecule. Here we show that human eIF4G possesses two separate eIF4A binding domains in the middle third (amino acids [aa] 478 to 883) and carboxy-terminal third (aa 884 to 1404) of the molecule. The amino acid sequence of the middle portion of eIF4G is well conserved between yeasts and humans. We show that mutations of conserved amino acid stretches in the middle domain abolish or reduce eIF4A binding as well as eIF3 binding. In addition, a separate and nonoverlapping eIF4A binding domain exists in the carboxy-terminal third (aa 1045 to 1404) of eIF4G, which is not present in yeast. The C-terminal two-thirds region (aa 457 to 1404) of eIF4G, containing both eIF4A binding sites, is required for stimulating translation. Neither one of the eIF4A binding domains alone activates translation. In contrast to eIF4G, human p97, a translation inhibitor with homology to eIF4G, binds eIF4A only through the amino-terminal proximal region, which is homologous to the middle domain of eIF4G.

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