In many eukaryotic mRNAs one or more short 'upstream' open reading frames, uORFs, precede the initiator of the main coding sequence. Upstream ORFs are functionally diverse as illustrated by their variety of features in polyamine pathway biosynthetic mRNAs. Their propensity to act as sensors for regulatory circuits and to amplify the signals likely explains their occurrence in most polyamine pathway mRNAs. The uORFmediated polyamine responsive autoregulatory circuits found in polyamine pathway mRNAs exemplify the translationally regulated dynamic interface between components of the proteome and metabolism.
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