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The regulation of mRNA translation is a process required to maintain cell homeostasis, and its malfunction can lead to disease. In recent years, advances in high-throughput and microscopy methods have revealed findings that challenge hitherto established dogmas, such as extensive translation in “untranslated” regions of a transcript, pervasive initiation from non-AUG codons, heterogeneity and specialization of the ribosome or specialized roles for ‘general’ translation factors. The influence of epitranscriptomics and physical transitions in translation, or the molecular mechanisms underlying ribosome quality control are just examples where rapid progress is impacting our view of translation.
It is also now clear that the mRNA is covered with RNA binding proteins (RBPs) that control its fate, some of which have dual functions as enzymes, revealing connections with metabolism that we still need to understand. Thus, translation cannot be seen anymore as an isolated process, but as one highly connected with other steps of gene expression and finely dependent on cellular context. Advance on these aspects will be featured, as well as the role of translation regulation in diseases as diverse as cancer, metabolic or neurological disorders.
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