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Comparative and Functional Genomics
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 576540, 10 pages
Review Article

The Role of Translation Initiation Regulation in Haematopoiesis

1Department of Pathology, Medical School, University of Malta, Msida MSD 2090, Malta
2Department of Hematopoiesis, Sanquin Research and Landsteiner Laboratory, AMC/UvA, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Received 20 January 2012; Accepted 25 February 2012

Academic Editor: Greco Hernández

Copyright © 2012 Godfrey Grech and Marieke von Lindern. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Organisation of RNAs into functional subgroups that are translated in response to extrinsic and intrinsic factors underlines a relatively unexplored gene expression modulation that drives cell fate in the same manner as regulation of the transcriptome by transcription factors. Recent studies on the molecular mechanisms of inflammatory responses and haematological disorders indicate clearly that the regulation of mRNA translation at the level of translation initiation, mRNA stability, and protein isoform synthesis is implicated in the tight regulation of gene expression. This paper outlines how these posttranscriptional control mechanisms, including control at the level of translation initiation factors and the role of RNA binding proteins, affect hematopoiesis. The clinical relevance of these mechanisms in haematological disorders indicates clearly the potential therapeutic implications and the need of molecular tools that allow measurement at the level of translational control. Although the importance of miRNAs in translation control is well recognised and studied extensively, this paper will exclude detailed account of this level of control.