3′ UTRs and Regulation


Messenger RNAs contain sequences that do not encode proteins and are not translated. These occur at the 5′ and 3′ ends of the coding region and are referred to as untranslated regions (UTRs). 3′ UTRs have various roles in the posttranscriptional control of gene expression.

Keywords: 3′ untranslated; mRNA degradation; mRNA localization; messenger RNA; posttranscriptional

Figure 1.

A proposed consensus structure for the selenocysteine insertion sequence found in the 3′ UTRs of selenoprotein genes (see Web Links).



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Further Reading

Bergsten SE, Huang T, Chatterjee S and Gavis ER (2001) Recognition and long‐range interactions of a minimal nanos RNA localization signal element. Development 128: 427–435.

Dalgleish G, Veyrune J‐L, Blanchard J‐M and Hesketh JE (2000) mRNA localization by a 145 nt region of the c‐fos 3′ untranslated region: links to translation but not stability. Journal of Biology Chemistry 276: 13593–13599.

Gramolini AO, Belanger G and Jasmin BJ (2001) Distinct regions in the 3′ untranslated region are responsible for targeting and stabilizing utrophin transcripts in skeletal muscle cells. Journal of Cell Biology 154: 1173–1183.

Grzybowska EA, Wilczynska A and Siedlecki JA (2001) Regulatory functions of 3′ UTRs. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 288: 291–295.

Kislauskis EH, Li Z, Taneja KL and Singer RH (1993) Isoform‐specific 3′ untranslated sequences sort α‐cardiac and β‐cytoplasmic actin messenger RNAs to different cytoplasmic compartments. Journal of Cell Biology 123: 165–172.

Kwon S, Barbarese E and Carson JH (1999) The cis‐acting RNA trafficking signal from myelin basic protein mRNA and its cognate trans‐acting ligand hnRNP A2 enhance cap‐dependent translation. Journal of Cell Biology 147: 247–256.

Pesole G, Liuni S, Grillo G, et al. (1999) UTRdB: a specialized database of 5′ and 3′ untranslated regions of eukaryotic mRNAs. Nucleic Acids Research 27: 188–191.

Stoecklin G, Soeeckle P, Lu M, Muehlemann O and Moroni C (2001) Cellular mutants define a common mRNA degradation pathway targeting cytokine AU‐rich elements. RNA 7: 1578–1588.

Wagner C, Palacios I, Jeager L, et al. (2001) Dimerization of the 3′ UTR of bicoid mRNA involves a two‐step mechanism. Journal of Molecular Biology 313: 511–524.

Wilkinson MF and Shyu AB (2001) Multifunctional regulatory proteins that control gene expression in both the nucleus and the cytoplasm. BioEssays 23: 775–787.

Web Links

UTR Database (UTRdb). 5′ and 3′ UTRs of eukaryotic mRNAs http://bighost.area.ba.cnr.it/BIG/UTRHome

Gladyshev website. Prediction of selenocysteine insertion motifs (SECIS) http://bio‐selenium.unl.edu

SECI Search website. Identification of SECIS elements. http://genome.unl.edu/SECISearch.html

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Hesketh, John(Sep 2005) 3′ UTRs and Regulation. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0005011]