Current research is focusing on two major aspects of translation initiation, cap-dependent and cap-independent (or internal) initiation. Within the realm of cap-dependent translation, we are examining the influence of individual initiation factors on the affect of increased or decreased levels of initiation factors on start site selection in mRNAs containing in frame start sites which yield two proteins, one with a slightly longer N-terminal region than the other.At the same time, we are also examining more closely the interaction of the mRNA specific initiation factors (eIF4A, eIF4B, eIF4F, eIF4H) with RNA. Both the characteristics of ideal RNAs for binding to the factors and ideal duplexes for unwinding are being examined.
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