Initiation of protein synthesis by the eukaryotic translational apparatus on circular RNAs

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Science  21 Apr 1995:
Vol. 268, Issue 5209, pp. 415-417
DOI: 10.1126/science.7536344


The ribosome scanning model predicts that eukaryotic ribosomal 40S subunits enter all messenger RNAs at their 5' ends. Here, it is reported that eukaryotic ribosomes can initiate translation on circular RNAs, but only if the RNAs contain internal ribosome entry site elements. Long-repeating polypeptide chains were synthesized from RNA circles with continuous open reading frames. These results indicate that ribosomes can translate such RNA circles for multiple consecutive rounds and that the free 5' end of a messenger RNA is not necessarily the entry point for 40S subunits.

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