Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology / Ergebnisse der Mikrobiologie und Immunitatsforschung

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This article is concerned with the use of viral models for the study of the mechanism of protein biosynthesis and its regulation. The scope is restricted mainly to general aspects of animal viral systems and how these systems may be used to approach the question of cellular regulation. Most information on the regulation of metabolic processes in eukaryotic cells comes from the study of bacteria and from the successful application of this knowledge to higher systems. However, differences in regulation of the translation of genetic information from the messenger RNA into protein may be expected between prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Due to the short half-life of prokaryotic mRNAs, transcription has been considered as the main mechanism controlling gene expression. Nevertheless, during recent years firm evidence has been accumulated for additional regu- latory factors operating during translation. This topic was recently reviewed by HASELKORN and ROTHMAN-DENES (1973) and by KOZAK and NATHANS (1972).