Increased efficiency of translation of ornithine decarboxylase mRNA in mitogen‐activated lymphocytes

Michael W. WHITE, Takaaki KAMEJI, Anthony E. PEGG, David R. MORRIS

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Ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) mRNA was elevated ninefold by 6 h following concanavalin A (ConA) stimulation of bovine lymphocytes. Comparison of the increases in ODC mRNA and ODC activity revealed a fivefold discrepancy, which is consistent with a change in efficiency of translation of ODC mRNA. In resting cells, 45% of the total ODC mRNA was associated with particles sedimenting at about 40 S, and therefore was not translated. The untranslated ODC mRNA in resting cells could be completely shifted into polysomes by a 15‐min treatment of the cells with appropriate concentrations of cycloheximide. In activated cells, the proportion of ODC mRNA in untranslated material was reduced to 18%. This shift in distribution of ODC mRNA occurred between 6 h and 12 h following mitogen stimulation with no increase in the cellular level of this message. The rate of synthesis of ODC protein was found in increase twofold between 6 h and 12 h, paralleling the increase in the amount of ODC mRNA associated with polysomes. Thus, in this time frame, a decrease in the amount of untranslated ODC mRNA with a corresponding increase in the amount associated with polysomes leads to an increase in the biosynthesis of ODC with no change in the cellular level of the message. These changes in translational efficiency were not observed with actin mRNA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-92
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Biochemistry
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 1987

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry


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