IGF2BP1 enhances HCV IRES-mediated translation initiation via the 3'UTR.

Research paper by Susan S Weinlich, Stefan S Hüttelmaier, Angelika A Schierhorn, Sven-Erik SE Behrens, Antje A Ostareck-Lederer, Dirk H DH Ostareck

Indexed on: 23 Jun '09Published on: 23 Jun '09Published in: RNA (New York, N.Y.)


The positive-strand RNA genome of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) contains an internal ribosome entry site (IRES) in the 5'untranslated region (5'UTR) and structured sequence elements within the 3'UTR, but no poly(A) tail. Employing a limited set of initiation factors, the HCV IRES coordinates the 5'cap-independent assembly of the 43S pre-initiation complex at an internal initiation codon located in the IRES sequence. We have established a Huh7 cell-derived in vitro translation system that shows a 3'UTR-dependent enhancement of 43S pre-initiation complex formation at the HCV IRES. Through the use of tobramycin (Tob)-aptamer affinity chromatography, we identified the Insulin-like growth factor-II mRNA-binding protein 1 (IGF2BP1) as a factor that interacts with both, the HCV 5'UTR and 3'UTR. We report that IGF2BP1 specifically enhances translation at the HCV IRES, but it does not affect 5'cap-dependent translation. RNA interference against IGF2BP1 in HCV replicon RNA-containing Huh7 cells reduces HCV IRES-mediated translation, whereas replication remains unaffected. Interestingly, we found that endogenous IGF2BP1 specifically co-immunoprecipitates with HCV replicon RNA, the ribosomal 40S subunit, and eIF3. Furthermore eIF3 comigrates with IGF2BP1 in 80S ribosomal complexes when a reporter mRNA bearing both the HCV 5'UTR and HCV 3'UTR is translated. Our data suggest that IGF2BP1, by binding to the HCV 5'UTR and/or HCV 3'UTR, recruits eIF3 and enhances HCV IRES-mediated translation.