Synchronicity: Policing Multiple Aspects of Gene Expression by Ctk1

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Genes and Development

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Transcription and translation are coordinated events in all organisms. In prokaryotes, the process that couples these two events is clear: The ribosome begins translation of the nascent mRNA while the DNA template is still being transcribed. Indeed, cotranscriptional protein synthesis underlies key regulatory mechanisms in bacteria, including attenuation, the mechanism that regulates RNA polymerase processivity in response to ribosome movement along the mRNA. But how is transcription coordinated with translation in eukaryotic organisms, where mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and protein synthesis occurs in the cytoplasm? Although these two events are spatially distinct, separated by the nuclear envelope, efficient control of gene expression necessarily requires that transcription and translation be regulated in a coordinated manner. As an example, dFOXO-mediated transcriptional activation produces both an inhibitor of cap-dependent translation, eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E)-BP, and a form of the insulin receptor mRNA that is translated by a cap-independent mechanism (Marr et al. 2007). In addition, translation requires a fully and accurately processed mRNA, and has mechanisms to help sense that appropriate processing has occurred.


This chapter was originally published as Hampsey, M. and Kinzy, T.G. (2007) Synchronicity: Policing multiple aspect of gene expression by Ctk1, Genes and Development, 21:1288-1291. PMID: 17545464