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Eukaryotic initiation factor EIF-3.G augments mRNA translation efficiency to regulate neuronal activity.

Abstract

The translation initiation complex eIF3 imparts specialized functions to regulate protein expression. However, understanding of eIF3 activities in neurons remains limited despite widespread dysregulation of eIF3 subunits in neurological disorders. Here, we report a selective role of the C. elegans RNA-binding subunit EIF-3.G in shaping the neuronal protein landscape. We identify a missense mutation in the conserved Zinc-Finger (ZF) of EIF-3.G that acts in a gain-of-function manner to dampen neuronal hyperexcitation. Using neuron-type-specific seCLIP, we systematically mapped EIF-3.G-mRNA interactions and identified EIF-3.G occupancy on GC-rich 5'UTRs of a select set of mRNAs enriched in activity-dependent functions. We demonstrate that the ZF mutation in EIF-3.G alters translation in a 5'UTR-dependent manner. Our study reveals an in vivo mechanism for eIF3 in governing neuronal protein levels to control neuronal activity states and offers insights into how eIF3 dysregulation contributes to neurological disorders.

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