Platelet-derived growth factor B chain (PDGF-B/c-SIS), the product of c-sis proto-oncogene, is a potent mitogen and chemoattractant for cells of mesenchymal origin. Expression of PDGF-B/c-SIS is regulated at the translational level, in addition to at the transcriptional level. The 5'-untranslated region (5'-UTR) of PDGF-B/c-sis mRNA is known to inhibit translation of the downstream coding sequences. The 5'-UTR contains putative influential elements, such as GC-rich elements, stem-loop structures and short open reading frames (SORFs). To clarify the inhibition mechanism of PDGF-B/c-sis mRNA translation, effects of three SORFs in the 5'-UTR on the translational regulation were investigated in transient expression assays. Introducing point mutation(s) in the initiation codons of SORFs affected the reporter gene expression in several cell lines (COS-1, U-2, JEG-3). Abrogation of three SORFs resulted in an increase of the reporter gene expression both in β-galactosidase assay and Western blot analysis. These results suggest that SORFs in the 5'-UTR sequences have inhibitory effects on the translation of the downstream coding sequences.
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