Anne E. Willis

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PTB (polypyrimidine-tract-binding protein) is a ubiquitous RNA-binding protein. It was originally identified as a protein with a role in splicing but it is now known to function in a large number of diverse cellular processes including polyadenylation, mRNA stability and translation initiation. Specificity of PTB function is achieved by a combination of(More)
We have shown previously that polypyrimidine tract binding protein 1 (PTB) binds and activates the Apaf-1 internal ribosome entry segment (IRES) when the protein upstream of N-ras (unr) is prebound. Here we show that the Apaf-1 IRES is highly active in neuronal-derived cell lines due to the presence of the neuronal-enhanced version of PTB, nPTB. The unr and(More)
A number of stresses, including nutrient stress, temperature shock, DNA damage, and hypoxia, can lead to changes in gene expression patterns caused by a general shutdown and reprogramming of protein synthesis. Each of these stress conditions results in selective recruitment of ribosomes to mRNAs whose protein products are required for responding to stress.(More)
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(More)
The mechanisms leading to neuronal death in neurodegenerative disease are poorly understood. Many of these disorders, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and prion diseases, are associated with the accumulation of misfolded disease-specific proteins. The unfolded protein response is a protective cellular mechanism triggered by rising levels of misfolded(More)
During prion disease, an increase in misfolded prion protein (PrP) generated by prion replication leads to sustained overactivation of the branch of the unfolded protein response (UPR) that controls the initiation of protein synthesis. This results in persistent repression of translation, resulting in the loss of critical proteins that leads to synaptic(More)
The mechanisms leading to neuronal death in neurodegenerative disease are poorly understood. Many of these disorders, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and prion diseases, are associatedwith the accumulation of misfolded disease-specific proteins. The unfolded protein response is a protective cellular mechanism triggered byrising levels(More)
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) control gene expression through both translational repression and degradation of target messenger RNAs (mRNAs). However, the interplay between these processes and the precise molecular mechanisms involved remain unclear. Here, we show that translational inhibition is the primary event required for mRNA degradation. Translational(More)
The 5′ untranslated region of the proto-oncogene c-myc contains an internal ribosome entry segment and c-Myc translation can be initiated by cap-independent as well as cap-dependent mechanisms. In contrast to the process of cap-dependent initiation, the trans-acting factor requirements for cellular internal ribosome entry are poorly understood. Here, we(More)
During apoptosis, there is a reduction in translation initiation caused by caspase cleavage of several of the factors required for the cap-dependent scanning mechanism. Under these circumstances, many proteins that are required for apoptosis are instead translated by the alternative method of internal ribosome entry. This mechanism requires the formation of(More)