Crystal structure of a cap-independent translation enhancer RNA.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Nucleic Acids Res (2023)


<p>In eukaryotic messenger&nbsp;RNAs, the 5&#39; cap structure binds to the translation initiation factor 4E to facilitate early stages of translation. Although many plant viruses lack the 5&#39; cap structure, some contain cap-independent translation elements (CITEs) in their 3&#39; untranslated region. The PTE (Panicum mosaic virus translation element) class of CITEs contains a G-rich asymmetric bulge and a C-rich helical junction that were proposed to interact via formation of a pseudoknot. SHAPE analysis of PTE homologs reveals a highly reactive guanosine residue within the G-rich region proposed to mediate eukaryotic initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) recognition. Here we have obtained the crystal structure of the PTE from Pea enation mosaic virus 2 (PEMV2) RNA in complex with our structural chaperone, Fab BL3-6. The structure reveals that the G-rich and C-rich regions interact through a complex network of interactions distinct from those expected for a pseudoknot. The motif, which contains a short parallel duplex, provides a structural mechanism for how the guanosine is extruded from the core stack to enable eIF4E recognition. Homologous PTE elements harbor a G-rich bulge and a three-way junction and exhibit covariation at crucial positions, suggesting that the PEMV2 tertiary architecture is conserved among these homologs.</p>