Mark Stoneley

University of Sussex, Brighton, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (23)167.68 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: A growing body of work demonstrates the importance of post-transcriptional control, in particular translation initiation, in the overall regulation of gene expression. Here we focus on the contribution of regulatory elements within the 5' and 3' untranslated regions of mRNA to gene expression in eukaryotic cells including terminal oligopyrimidine tracts, internal ribosome entry segments, upstream open reading frames and cytoplasmic polyadenylation elements. These mRNA regulatory elements may adopt complex secondary structures and/or contain sequence motifs that allow their interaction with a variety of regulatory proteins, RNAs and RNA binding proteins, particularly hnRNPs. The resulting interactions are context-sensitive, and provide cells with a sensitive and fast response to cellular signals such as hormone exposure or cytotoxic stress. Importantly, an increasing number of diseases have been identified, particularly cancers and those associated with neurodegeneration, which originate either from mutation of these regulatory motifs, or from deregulation of their cognate binding partners.
    Current Protein and Peptide Science 06/2012; 13(4):294-304. · 2.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A growing body of work demonstrates the importance of post-transcriptional control, in particular translation initiation, in the overall regulation of gene expression. Here we focus on the contribution of regulatory elements within the 5' and 3' untranslated regions of mRNA to gene expression in eukaryotic cells including terminal oligopyrimidine tracts, internal ribosome entry segments, upstream open reading frames and cytoplasmic polyadenylation elements. These mRNA regulatory elements may adopt complex secondary structures and/or contain sequence motifs that allow their interaction with a variety of regulatory proteins, RNAs and RNA binding proteins, particularly hnRNPs. The resulting interactions are context-sensitive, and provide cells with a sensitive and fast response to cellular signals such as hormone exposure or cytotoxic stress. Importantly, an increasing number of diseases have been identified, particularly cancers and those associated with neurodegeneration, which originate either from mutation of these regulatory motifs, or from deregulation of their cognate binding partners.
    Current Protein and Peptide Science 05/2012; 13(4):294-304. · 2.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: UVB-induced lesions in mammalian cellular DNA can, through the process of mutagenesis, lead to carcinogenesis. However, eukaryotic cells have evolved complex mechanisms of genomic surveillance and DNA damage repair to counteract the effects of UVB radiation. We show that following UVB DNA damage, there is an overall inhibition of protein synthesis and translational reprogramming. This reprogramming allows selective synthesis of DDR proteins, such as ERCC1, ERCC5, DDB1, XPA, XPD, and OGG1 and relies on upstream ORFs in the 5' untranslated region of these mRNAs. Experiments with DNA-PKcs-deficient cell lines and a specific DNA-PKcs inhibitor demonstrate that both the general repression of mRNA translation and the preferential translation of specific mRNAs depend on DNA-PKcs activity, and therefore our data establish a link between a key DNA damage signaling component and protein synthesis.
    Genes & development 06/2009; 23(10):1207-20. · 12.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Initiation of protein synthesis in eukaryotes requires recruitment of the ribosome to the mRNA and its translocation to the start codon. There are at least two distinct mechanisms by which this process can be achieved; the ribosome can be recruited either to the cap structure at the 5' end of the message or to an internal ribosome entry segment (IRES), a complex RNA structural element located in the 5' untranslated region (5'-UTR) of the mRNA. However, it is not well understood how cellular IRESs function to recruit the ribosome or how the 40S ribosomal subunits translocate from the initial recruitment site on the mRNA to the AUG initiation codon. We have investigated the canonical factors that are required by the IRESs found in the 5'-UTRs of c-, L-, and N-myc, using specific inhibitors and a tissue culture-based assay system, and have shown that they differ considerably in their requirements. The L-myc IRES requires the eIF4F complex and the association of PABP and eIF3 with eIF4G for activity. The minimum requirements of the N- and c-myc IRESs are the C-terminal domain of eIF4G to which eIF4A is bound and eIF3, although interestingly this protein does not appear to be recruited to the IRES RNA via eIF4G. Finally, our data show that all three IRESs require a ternary complex, although in contrast to c- and L-myc IRESs, the N-myc IRES has a lesser requirement for a ternary complex.
    Molecular and cellular biology 02/2009; 29(6):1565-74. · 6.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are noncoding RNAs that base pair imperfectly to homologous regions in target mRNAs and negatively influence the synthesis of the corresponding proteins. Repression is mediated by a number of mechanisms, one of which is the direct inhibition of protein synthesis. Surprisingly, previous studies have suggested that two mutually exclusive mechanisms exist, one acting at the initiation phase of protein synthesis and the other at a postinitiation event. Here, we resolve this apparent dichotomy by demonstrating that the promoter used to transcribe the mRNA influences the type of miRNA-mediated translational repression. Transcripts derived from the SV40 promoter that contain let-7 target sites in their 3' UTRs are repressed at the initiation stage of translation, whereas essentially identical mRNAs derived from the TK promoter are repressed at a postinitiation step. We also show that there is a miR-34 target site within the 3' UTR of c-myc mRNA and that promoter dependency is also true for this endogenous 3' UTR. Overall, these data establish a link between the nuclear history of an mRNA and the mechanism of miRNA-mediated translational regulation in the cytoplasm.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2008; 105(26):8866-71. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In a recent issue of Molecular Cell, Michlewski et al. (2008) show that SF2/ASF, a splicing factor, stimulates translation initiation by directly recruiting the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) to a subset of mRNAs.
    Molecular cell 06/2008; 30(3):262-3. · 14.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There is now an overwhelming body of evidence to suggest that internal ribosome entry is required to maintain the expression of specific proteins during patho-physiological situations when cap-dependent translation is compromised, for example, following heat shock or during mitosis, hypoxia, differentiation and apoptosis. Translational profiling has been used by several groups to assess the extent to which alternative mechanisms of translation initiation selectively recruit mRNAs to polysomes during cell stress. The data from these studies have shown that under each condition 3-5% of coding mRNAs remain associated with the polysomes. Importantly, the genes identified in each of these studies do not show a significant amount of overlap, suggesting that 10-15% of all mRNAs have the capability for their initiation to occur via alternative mechanism(s).
    Biology of the Cell 02/2008; 100(1):27-38. · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: During apoptosis there is a substantial reduction in the rate of protein synthesis, and yet some mRNAs avoid this translational inhibition. To determine the impact that receptor-mediated cell death has on the translational efficiency of a large number of mRNAs, translational profiling was performed on MCF7 cells treated with the apoptosis-inducing ligand TRAIL. Our data indicate that approximately 3% of mRNAs remain associated with the polysomes in apoptotic cells, and genes that are involved in transcription, chromatin modification/remodeling, and the Notch signaling pathway are particularly prevalent among the mRNAs that evade translational inhibition. Internal ribosome entry segments (IRESs) were identified in several of the mRNAs that remained associated with the polysomes during apoptosis, and, importantly, these IRESs functioned efficiently in apoptotic cells. Finally, the data showed that polypyrimidine tract binding protein (PTB, a known IRES trans-acting factor or ITAF) is pivotal in regulating the apoptotic process by controlling IRES function.
    Molecular Cell 09/2006; 23(3):401-12. · 15.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Upon cell-cycle arrest or nutrient deprivation, the cellular rate of ribosome production is reduced significantly. In mammalian cells, this effect is achieved in part through a co-ordinated inhibition of RP (ribosomal protein) synthesis. More specifically, translation initiation on RP mRNAs is inhibited. Translational regulation of RP synthesis is dependent on cis-elements within the 5'-UTRs (5'-untranslated regions) of the RP mRNAs. In particular, a highly conserved 5'-TOP (5'-terminal oligopyrimidine tract) appears to play a key role in the regulation of RP mRNA translation. This article explores recent developments in our understanding of the mechanism of TOP mRNA regulation, focusing on upstream signalling pathways and trans-acting factors, and highlighting some interesting observations which have come to light following the recent development of cDNA microarray technology coupled with polysome analysis.
    Biochemical Society Transactions 03/2006; 34(Pt 1):12-6. · 2.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have identified a novel motif which consists of the sequence (CCU)(n) as part of a polypyrimidine-rich tract and permits internal ribosome entry. A number of constructs containing variations of this motif were generated and these were found to function as artificial internal ribosome entry segments (AIRESs) in vivo and in vitro in the presence of polypyrimidine tract-binding protein (PTB). The data show that for these sequences to function as IRESs the RNA must be present as a double-stranded stem and, in agreement with this, rather surprisingly, we show that PTB binds strongly to double-stranded RNA. All the cellular 5' untranslated regions (UTRs) tested that harbor this sequence were shown to contain internal ribosome entry segments that are dependent upon PTB for function in vivo and in vitro. This therefore raises the possibility that PTB or its interacting protein partners could provide a bridge between the IRES-RNA and the ribosome. Given the number of putative cellular IRESs that could be dependent on PTB for function, these data strongly suggest that PTB-1 is a universal IRES-trans-acting factor.
    Genes & Development 08/2005; 19(13):1556-71. · 12.44 Impact Factor
  • M Bushell, M Stoneley, P Sarnow, A E Willis
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    ABSTRACT: The induction of apoptosis leads to a substantial inhibition of protein synthesis. During this process changes to the translation-initiation factors, the ribosome and the cellular level of mRNA have been documented. However, it is by no means clear which of these events are necessary to achieve translational shutdown. In this article, we discuss modifications to the translational apparatus that occur during apoptosis and examine the potential contributions that they make to the inhibition of protein synthesis. Moreover, we present evidence that suggests that a global increase in the rate of mRNA degradation occurs before the caspase-dependent cleavage of initiation factors. Increased mRNA decay is temporally correlated with the shutdown of translation and therefore plays a major role in the inhibition of protein synthesis in apoptotic cells.
    Biochemical Society Transactions 09/2004; 32(Pt 4):606-10. · 2.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have shown previously that an internal ribosome entry segment (IRES) directs the synthesis of the p36 isoform of Bag-1 and that polypyrimidine tract binding protein 1 (PTB-1) and poly(rC) binding protein 1 (PCBP1) stimulate IRES-mediated translation initiation in vitro and in vivo. Here, a secondary structural model of the Bag-1 IRES has been derived by using chemical and enzymatic probing data as constraints on the RNA folding algorithm Mfold. The ribosome entry window has been identified within this structural model and is located in a region in which many residues are involved in base-pairing interactions. The interactions of PTB-1 and PCBP1 with their cognate binding sites on the IRES disrupt many of the RNA-RNA interactions, and this creates a largely unstructured region of approximately 40 nucleotides that could permit ribosome binding. Mutational analysis of the PTB-1 and PCBP1 binding sites suggests that PCBP1 acts as an RNA chaperone to open the RNA in the vicinity of the ribosome entry window while PTB-1 is probably an essential part of the preinitiation complex.
    Molecular and Cellular Biology 07/2004; 24(12):5595-605. · 5.37 Impact Factor
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    Mark Stoneley, Anne E Willis
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    ABSTRACT: Initiation of translation in eukaryotic cells can occur by two distinct mechanisms, cap-dependent scanning and internal ribosome entry. The latter mechanism requires the formation of a complex RNA structural element termed an internal ribosome entry segment (IRES). IRESs are located in the 5' untranslated region of the message, and in the presence of trans-acting factors allow the ribosome to be recruited to a site that is a considerable distance from the cap structure. Many cellular mRNAs have now been shown to contain IRESs and it is likely that up to 10% of all mRNAs have the capability to initiate translation by this mechanism. The majority of IRESs that have been identified thus far are found in mRNAs whose protein products are associated with the control of cell growth and cell death, including many growth factors, proto-oncogenes and proteins required for apoptosis. In this review, we discuss the cellular situations when IRESs are required, the trans-acting factors that are necessary for IRES function and deregulation of IRES-mediated translation in tumorigenesis.
    Oncogene 05/2004; 23(18):3200-7. · 8.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An internal ribosome entry segment (IRES) has been identified in the 5' untranslated region (5' UTR) of two members of the myc family of proto-oncogenes, c-myc and N-myc. Hence, the synthesis of c-Myc and N-Myc polypeptides can involve the alternative mechanism of internal initiation. Here, we show that the 5' UTR of L-myc, another myc family member, also contains an IRES. Previous studies have shown that the translation of mRNAs containing the c-myc and N-myc IRESs can involve both cap-dependent initiation and internal initiation. In contrast, the data presented here suggest that internal initiation can account for all of the translation initiation that occurs on an mRNA with the L-myc IRES in its 5' UTR. Like many other cellular IRESs, the L-myc IRES appears to be modular in nature and the entire 5' UTR is required for maximum IRES efficiency. The ribosome entry window within the L-myc IRES is located some distance upstream of the initiation codon, and thus, this IRES uses a "land and scan" mechanism to initiate translation. Finally, we have derived a secondary structural model for the IRES. The model confirms that the L-myc IRES is highly structured and predicts that a pseudoknot may form near the 5' end of the mRNA.
    RNA 03/2004; 10(2):287-98. · 5.09 Impact Factor
  • Mark Stoneley, Anne E Willis
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    ABSTRACT: Altering the rate of translation initiation of a specific gene can tightly regulate the synthesis of the corresponding polypeptide and is an important mechanism in the control of gene expression. For some time it has been known that many genes involved in cell proliferation, cell growth and apoptosis have atypical 5' untranslated regions (UTRs) containing a high degree of RNA secondary structure, upstream open reading frames and internal ribosome entry segments. These features play a key role in the regulation of protein synthesis. In this review we discuss how the rate of translation initiation of proto-oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes is affected by elements in their 5' and 3' UTRs and we focus on how changes in the controlof gene expression at this level can contribute towards tumorigenesis.
    Current Molecular Medicine 12/2003; 3(7):597-603. · 4.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have derived a secondary structure model for the c-myc internal ribosome entry segment (IRES) by using information from chemical probing of the c-myc IRES RNA to constrain structure prediction programs. Our data suggest that the IRES is modular in nature, and can be divided into two structural domains linked by a long unstructured region. Both domains are required for full IRES function. Domain 1 is a complex element that contains a GNNRA apical loop and an overlapping double pseudoknot motif that is topologically unique amongst published RNA structures. Domain 2, the smaller of the two, contains an apical AUUU loop. We have located the ribosome landing site and have shown that ribosomes enter in a 16 nt region downstream of the pseudoknots in a situation similar to that observed in several viral IRESs. To test the structure, several key regions of the IRES were mutated and, interestingly, it appears that some of the structural elements that we have identified function to repress c-myc IRES function. This has profound implications for de-regulation of c-myc expression by mutations occurring in the IRES.
    Journal of Molecular Biology 07/2001; 310(1):111-26. · 3.91 Impact Factor
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    M Stoneley, J P Spencer, S C Wright
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    ABSTRACT: Mnt is a transcriptional repressor related to the Myc/Mad family of transcription factors. It is expressed in proliferating, resting and differentiating cells and is believed to antagonize the function of Myc. Here we have characterized the major transcription initiation site of the mnt gene. In doing so we noted a remarkable level of sequence conservation between the murine and human 5' untranslated regions. Our experiments revealed that this sequence contains an internal ribosome entry segment (IRES). In addition, we show that sequences at both the 5' and 3' end of the IRES are essential for its function. These findings indicate that mnt can be translated by internal initiation. Such a mechanism may allow efficient Mnt synthesis when cap-dependent translation initiation is reduced.
    Oncogene 03/2001; 20(7):893-7. · 8.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The 5' untranslated region of the proto-oncogene c-myc contains an internal ribosome entry segment (IRES) (Nanbru et al., 1997; Stoneley et al., 1998) and thus c-myc protein synthesis can be initiated by a cap-independent as well as a cap-dependent mechanism (Stoneley et al., 2000). In cell lines derived from patients with multiple myeloma (MM) there is aberrant translational regulation of c-myc and this correlates with a C-T mutation in the c-myc-IRES (Paulin et al., 1996). RNA derived from the mutant IRES displays enhanced binding of protein factors (Paulin et al., 1998). Here we show that the same mutation is present in 42% of bone marrow samples obtained from patients with MM, but was not present in any of 21 controls demonstrating a strong correlation between this mutation and the disease. In a tissue culture based assay, the mutant version of the c-myc-IRES was more active in all cell types tested, but showed the greatest activity in a cell line derived from a patient with MM. Our data demonstrate that a single mutation in the c-myc-IRES is sufficient to cause enhanced initiation of translation via internal ribosome entry and represents a novel mechanism of oncogenesis.
    Oncogene 10/2000; 19(38):4437-40. · 8.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The 5' UTR of c -myc mRNA contains an internal ribo-some entry segment (IRES) and consequently, c -myc mRNAs can be translated by the alternative mechanism of internal ribosome entry. However, there is also some evidence suggesting that c -myc mRNA translation can occur via the conventional cap-dependent scanning mechanism. Using both bicistronic and monocistronic mRNAs containing the c- myc 5' UTR, we demonstrate that both mechanisms can contribute to c- myc protein synthesis. A wide range of cell types are capable of initiating translation of c- myc by internal ribosome entry, albeit with different efficiencies. Moreover, our data suggest that the spectrum of efficiencies observed in these cell types is likely to be due to variation in the cellular concentration of non-canonical translation factors. Interestingly, the c -myc IRES is 7-fold more active than the human rhinovirus 2 (HRV2) IRES and 5-fold more active than the encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) IRES. However, the protein requirements for the c -myc IRES must differ significantly from these viral IRESs, since an unidentified nuclear event appears to be a pre-requisite for efficient c -myc IRES-driven initiation.
    Nucleic Acids Research 03/2000; 28(3):687-94. · 8.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The apoptotic protease activating factor (Apaf-1) plays a central role in apoptosis: interaction of this protein with procaspase-9 leads to cleavage and activation of this initiator caspase. In common with other mRNAs whose protein products have a major regulatory function, the 5' untranslated region (UTR) of Apaf-1 is long, G-C rich and has the potential to form secondary structure. We have shown that the 5' UTR of Apaf-1 contains an internal ribosome entry segment, located in a 233 nucleotide region towards the 3' end of the leader, and that the translation initiation of this mRNA occurs only by internal ribosome entry. The Apaf-1 IRES is active in almost all human cell types tested, including Human cervical carcinoma (HeLa), Human liver carcinoma (HepG2), Human breast carcinoma (MCF7), Human embryonic kidney (HK293), African Green Monkey kidney (COS7) and Human lung (MRC5). The Apaf-1 IRES initiates translation as efficiently as the HRV IRES, but is less active than the c-myc IRES. We propose that the Apaf-1 IRES ensures that a constant cellular level of Apaf-1 protein is maintained even under conditions where cap-dependent translation is compromised. Oncogene (2000) 19, 899 - 905.
    Oncogene 03/2000; 19(7):899-905. · 8.56 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

1k Citations
167.68 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2009
    • University of Sussex
      • School of Life Sciences
      Brighton, England, United Kingdom
  • 2005–2009
    • University of Nottingham
      • School of Pharmacy
      Nottingham, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 1998–2004
    • University of Leicester
      • Department of Biochemistry
      Leicester, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 2001
    • University of Leeds
      Leeds, England, United Kingdom