Structure and expression of ribosomal protein genes in Xenopus laevis.

F. Amaldi, O. Camacho-Vanegas, B. Cardinall, F. Cecconi, C. Crosio, F. Loreni, P. Mariottini, L. Pellizzoni, P. Pierandrei-Amaldi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In Xenopus laevis, as well as in other vertebrates, ribosomal proteins (r-proteins) are coded by a class of genes that share some organizational and structural features. One of these, also common to genes coding for other proteins involved in the translation apparatus synthesis and function, is the presence within their introns of sequences coding for small nucleolar RNAs. Another feature is the presence of common structures, mainly in the regions surrounding the 5' ends, involved in their coregulated expression. This is attained at various regulatory levels: transcriptional, posttranscriptional, and translational. Particular attention is given here to regulation at the translational level, which has been studied during Xenopus oogenesis and embryogenesis and also during nutritional changes of Xenopus cultured cells. This regulation, which responds to the cellular need for new ribosomes, operates by changing the fraction of rp-mRNA (ribosomal protein mRNA) engaged on polysomes. A typical 5' untranslated region characterizing all vertebrate rp-mRNAs analyzed to date is responsible for this translational behaviour: it is always short and starts with an 8-12 nucleotide polypyrimidine tract. This region binds in vitro some proteins that can represent putative trans-acting factors for this translational regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)969-977
Number of pages9
JournalBiochemistry and Cell Biology
Issue number11-12
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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